25th annual toy run participants honour great mate

Salvation Army Annual Motorcycle Toy Run
John Smith prepares for this year’s Salvation Army Annual Motorcycle Toy Run.

Motorcycles will be lining the streets of Bargara on Saturday when the Salvation Army Annual Motorcycle Toy Run gets under way.

The fundraiser is in its 25th year and aims to provide donated toys to children less fortunate at Christmas time.

According to organiser John Smith, this year would hold extra meaning, with more than 200 riders participating not only for children in need, but also to honor a best mate.

“Our very good friend and volunteer at the Salvation Army Don Cook sadly passed away recently,” he said.

The Salvation Army's Don Cook will be honoured in this year's toy run.

“Don had been part of this event since its inception and didn't get to make the 25th year.

“We will all be riding for him, to celebrate his life and all of the fantastic work he did.”

John said the hundreds of riders would start their trek from the Bargara Basin on Saturday, with an early morning Rotary Club Bargara sausage sizzle to fuel the driver’s tanks before they head off from 9am.

He said the riders would then head to Kendall Flat for a quick stopover at 9.30am and will continue through the Bundaberg CBD to Stockland Bundaberg Shopping Centre car park.

“The ride will take about an hour overall,” John said.

“Each rider will have a toy strapped to their bike throughout the event, which have been donated to us by the public.”

John said he had participated in the ride for 25 years and the community support never ceased to amaze him.

“It's a great feeling,” he said.

“Riding through the CBD we get lots of people watching and waving and yelling out, the community really love it.

“It's about giving back to the people of Bundaberg and mostly the children, they are ones that miss out when things get tough.”

John said for those wishing to donate toys to the cause, there was still plenty of time.

“There will be time up until the day of the event to donate and even on the day,” he said.

“We are asking for toys for all ages, little kids and through to the teens.”

Auswide Bank supports Toy Run

toy run
John Smith, Chris Millard, Chantal and Ray Linderberg with some of the toys Auswide Bank donated to the Salvation Army Toy Run

Auswide Bank is also supporting the Salvation Army Toy Run.

“Earlier this year Auswide Bank made a significant contribution to the Salvation Army Appeal, however we wanted to do more to help local families wherever we could, and decided to also get involved in the Salvation Army Toy Run,” managing director Martin Barrett said.

“We are participating in the Pageant of Lights Parade this Thursday night with staff members pulling Auswide Bank carts with presents to be donated to the Salvation Army Toy Run.”

“I’m proud to say that Auswide Bank Staff have also participated in the toy collection, jumping on board to purchase toys to be included in the overall donation made by Auswide Bank.”

How to donate to the Toy Run

Donations can be made prior to the day at: Just Cruisin' Auto Parts, 34 George Street or Stockland Bundaberg Centre Management or on the day at:

7.30am – The Basin, Bargara

9.30am – Kendall Flats

10am – Stockland Bundaberg

All gift donations must be unwrapped.

For all inquiries phone John ‘Smithy' Smith on 4151 0542 or 0407 628 036.