Bikers brighten deprived kids’ Xmas

December 4, 2008

Bikers brighten deprived kids’ Xmas

Hanti Otto

December 01 2008

A huge teddy bear sat on the bumper of the motorbike with an ear-to-ear grin.

Not only was he going on a bike ride, but Mr Bear was also going to make one child very happy.

He was surrounded by thousands of bikes with the same passengers.

Soft toys clung to steering wheels, plastic motorbikes were tied to bumpers and cricket bats protruded out of backpacks.

More than 2 000 motorbikes, some with couples, others with parents and children on, gathered at the Midas store in Silverton, Tshwane, for the 26th annual Motorcycle Toy Run.

Bikers from across Gauteng gathered in all four corners of the province to meet at the Expo Centre, Nasrec in Johannesburg.

The aim was to bring toys and smiles to faces of needy children at charities like the Child Welfare, squatter camps, hospitals and the Family Advocate.

Started in 1982 by biker individuals, the Toy Run has since then collected and distributed more than 350 000 toys for children in Gauteng.

In 1996 the Toy Run Company, a non-profit organisation, was registered to continue this growing event.

On Sunday the crowd gathered on pavements of Pretoria Road in the early morning. It was like Francois de Lange said: “Quite a spectacle to see. Even if you are a non-biker this gives you goose pimples.”

Each participant donated toys to make Christmas a little brighter for children in orphanages, shelters and hospitals. Organisers expected more than 40 000 motorcyclists to unite at the finish point.

Okkie Myburgh said: “This is a fun way to do a good deed. Many of the toys were donated by children themselves.”

Ann Waters agreed, saying not only was this for charity, but also a good excuse to hit the open road with her bike. Another character loved by children was Garth Collins, aka Gladiator Granite, a Strictly Come Dancing participant.

o This article was originally published on page 3 of Pretoria News on December 01, 2008

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