Toy runners ride strong

THE distinctive roar of thousands of motorcycles has become a familiar sound for Hobart residents as bikers from across Tasmania converge on the capital to participate in the annual Motor Riders Association (MRA) Toy Run.

Beginning at the Derwent Entertainment Centre and ending on Parliament lawns, the popular charity event acted as the largest gathering of motorcycle riders in Tasmania.

The convoy showcased their range of gifts, toys, food and donations before eventually surrendering them to the waiting Salvation Army staff and volunteers

Salvation Army corps officer Captain Johnmark Snead said the 2018 event saw a significant number of toys donated and distributed throughout Tasmania by The Salvation Army with the assistance of many other agencies.

“Toys will therefore have a statewide reach including the Bass Straight islands, west coast, the far north west, east coast from top to bottom, north and south,” he said.

“Close to 7000 riders participated in the 2018 Toy Run ending in Salamanca.

“The MRA ran a smooth event as usual in partnership with the police, council and community stakeholders and in 2019 are looking forward to its 40th event in partnership with The Salvation Army.”

Among those to take to the road during the recent event was Kurt Tuthill, who has been riding in the Toy Run from the north-west coast for the past 16 years.

The combined efforts of Mr Tuthill and colleagues from the Australian Government Department of Human Services saw them raise more than $1,200 for the event.

Captain Snead said the significant donation would give families and children throughout Tasmania a helping hand at Christmas.

“This event was the 39th running of the MRA Toy Run and during that time we have seen some amazing commitment from riders like Kurt,” he said.

“Participating in 16 Toy Runs and raising more than $1,200 says it all.”

MRA South president Peter Dixon said donations such as this were typical of the goodwill and generosity of everybody taking part in the Toy Run.

“It gives The Salvation Army opportunities to bring hope to many families right across Tasmania,” he said.

“The Toy Run’s enormous success is a direct result of the hard work by the MRA over many years.”

Caption: Salvation Army corps officer Captain Johnmark Snead, pictured far right, with long-time Toy Run participant Kurt Tuthill and riders.

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