THOUSANDS of motorbikes rolling down the Brooker Highway decked out in all their toy glory has become a familiar sight for greater Hobart residents as the MRA Toy Run ushers in its 40th year.
The annual charity event, which is held in conjunction with the Salvation Army, will be held this year on Saturday 7 December and acts as the largest gathering of motorcycle riders in Tasmania.
Kicking off at the Derwent Entertainment Centre and ending on Parliament lawns, riders will showcase their range of gifts, toys, food and donations before eventually surrendering them to Salvation Army staff and volunteers.
The Salvation Army public relations secretary Paul Hateley said this year’s event was shaping up nicely.
“And being the 40th anniversary, it’s going to be a special celebration of both the riders and the community’s generosity over quite a substantial period of time,” he said.
“Each year, we have between 5000 and 7000 riders participate, each one carrying at least one toy or cash donation.
“Christmas brings out the generosity in people, but for those doing it tough it can also compound that sense of poverty and isolation.
“The reality is that the need is great and organisations like the Salvation Army cannot fulfil that need without the help of the public.
“The Toy Run is a great opportunity to partner with the Salvation Army to care for the most in need people doing it tough this Christmas.”
All are welcome to attend the Toy Run and there is no entry fee to participate, although any donations to MRA South are appreciated.
The parade will depart with a police escort at 2.30pm.
Organised by unpaid volunteers, 100 per cent of gifts and donations go to the Salvation Army.
There may be a short delay along the route while the 40th MRA Toy Run passes, so road users are asked to please to patient.
Caption: MRA Toy Run participant Robert Houbaer with his grandchildren, from left, Harry, 1, and Thomas, 4. Photo credit: Madison Jones.