Now in their milestone 40th year, on Sunday 3rd December the Bikers for Kids Newcastle Toy Run hopes to attract over 10,000 riders and enthusiasts from all over the east coast of Australia and beyond. This is a far cry from their contingent of 20 bikes in the commencing 1978 event and a testament to motorcycle community’s fierce and ongoing passion for supporting those less fortunate.
Through the Newcastle Toy Run, a diverse group of motorcycling enthusiasts, as well as the general public and local business owners are given the opportunity to build awareness, collectively donate toys, or raise much-needed funds for distribution to needy children and families.
“This can be a really stressful time of year for people, especially parents. Knowing that we have the ability to help so many children throughout the Hunter who are in need is an absolute rush. It’s why we keep doing what we are doing,” said Bikers for Kids chairman-elect, Daryn Young.
The Bikers For Kids Newcastle Toy Run has contributed significantly to The Salvation Army Hunter Christmas Appeal for more than three decades, with over $250,000 worth of toys and donations generated. Divisional Social Liaison Officer from The Salvation Army, Major Christine Martin, explained the impact of the event was wide reaching.
“We are immensely grateful for the generous support provided by this iconic event and the many thousands of riders that take part. Through the donation of funds and toys, we are able to directly assist local families in their time of need and we simply couldn't do this without Bikers For Kids and community support. We extend heartfelt gratitude and congratulations to Bikers For Kids and ride participants for this impressive 40 year anniversary,” said Major Martin.
Impressively, the Newcastle Toy Run is now the oldest annual event of its kind in Australia and the only RMS and police approved and escorted ride. Riders are encouraged to register for free via the website to go in the draw to win a host of prizes including tickets the Lighthouse Folk Festival, motorcycle merchandise and a private scenic joy flight.
The Toy Run is an extraordinary sensory experience for people of all ages and backgrounds and the entire community is invited to get involved in the action and enjoy the arrival of bikes at the new end location Wickham Park, between 10am and 3pm on Sunday 3rd December. The Park will come alive with a massive donation point for unwrapped toys, a showcase of thousands of decorated motorcycles, roving entertainment, live music, market stalls to do your Christmas Shopping, a giant tug'o'war, amusements and activities for the kids, plenty of food and drink options, official merchandise, the Salvation Army Christmas Appeal Collection, the Sol Invictus Motorcycle Raffle Prize Draw and of course plenty of motorcycle information and accessories for sale.
The event itself also needs support to enable it to fulfil its purpose. This year The Toy Run urgently needs $15,000 of sponsorship from local and regional businesses before December to support the running of the event. As the event has grown rapidly in popularity, so too have the operating costs.
“We are looking to hear from any organisation who is able to help and we'd love to make this our very best year yet. We are thankful for the support of Newcastle City Council and our existing partners and are lucky to be surrounded by a supportive, like-minded network. But we are very aware that some people aren’t that lucky, so if we can do our bit to help out we are going to continue to do so,” said Mr. Young.
Online donations, rider registrations and more information can be found at newcastletoyrun.com.au