For almost three decades John “Smithy” Smith has rallied riders to spread Christmas cheer to local boys and girls in the Salvation Army Toy Run.
This year's event will take place on Saturday 3 December with the whole ocmmunity invited to take part.
Smithy said he wouldn’t know how many families he has helped during his 28 years of organising the annual charity ride, but every year is just as important as the last.
“Since 1994 I have been getting all the boys, all the riders, together to take part in this important Christmas event and I haven’t been upstaged yet,” Smithy said.
“It’s a good feeling to know we’re riding together to help local kids at Christmas.
“Each year we get about 300 riders and their families taking part.”
The Salvation Army Toy Run starts at the Basin at Bargara before travelling to Kendall Flat and doing a loop of the Bundaberg CBD to finish at the Salvation Army on McCarthy Road.
Smithy said riders were encouraged to decorate their rides and strap on a teddy bear to enjoy the festivities, but he also reminds riders not to forget about the older children.
“We donate all the toys collected to the Salvation Army,” he said.
“I ask people not to forget about the teenagers, they can be some of the kids doing it really tough at this time of year.
“So, if you can, bring along a fishing rod, cricket bat, basketball or skateboard to help put a smile on their faces.”
Smithy said getting involved was very simple and all you needed was a registered motorbike, licence, and a toy.
“Everyone is welcome – the more the merrier,” Smithy said.
Businesses and locals who would like to donate to this year’s Salvation Army Toy Run but can’t attend on the day could do so by contacting Smithy or stop at Just Cruisin' Autos at 34 George Street prior to the event.
Drop off points throughout the day include:
- 8 am – The Basin Bargara
- 9.30 am – Kendall Flat
For more information about the toy drive phone Smithy on 4151 0542 or 0407 628 036.