Toowoomba’s Picnic Point Park was overrun on Sunday almost three hundred motorbike riders turned up to support disadvantaged kids in the annual Christmas Toy Run. The record-breaking ride is the biggest the region has seen, dwarfing previous years in an impressive display of solidarity for those most in need at Christmas time.
The impressive event was hosted by the Darling Downs Motorcycle Club, and riders from all across the Darling Downs and as far as Brisbane, Tenterfield, and Warwick turned up to take toys from Picnic Point across town to the Toowoomba Showground. Alongside the riders were some of Toowoomba’s motorcycle police, throwing their own support behind the endeavour and ensuring everyone’s safety on the journey.
The event has grown so much in recent years, some riders spoke of their joy at seeing the donations now filling trucks, as opposed to previous years when they only filled a trailer. With the annual toy run becoming an Australia-wide event, many also said they make it their mission to attend at least two runs each season.
The talk of the day, however, was on young Sam, a local boy from Toowoomba who made it his mission three years ago to collect and donate teddy bears to children in need. Sam’s belief that teddy bears protect children from their nightmares, and his dismay at hearing that some children never had a bear, prompted his desire to donate as many as possible. His first year saw him purchase and donate ten bears, and this year he was proud to tell us his collection had grown to over 200 teddies. Sam tragically lost his father in a bike accident this year, and the loss left him unable to complete his bear-a-week collection goal. In support of Sam and his family, many local riders took up the collection for him, and the overwhelming display followed the bikes through Toowoomba on Sunday.
The annual Toy Run is a growing tradition across Australia, and is a cause worth getting behind.
Photo credit: Danielle Bennett and Nicole Jenkins