Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Bloemfontein Toy Run 2010

Last weekend Grant and I rode to Bloemfontein to take part in the National Toy Run. I was there with my camera and below is the article I sent to the bike magazine for publication. I added the photos after the article.

Bloemfontein Toy Run 2010
By Jo Hedges
Word count 474

More than 1500 bikers hit the streets of Bloemfontein this past weekend as part of the annual Toy Run in aid of charity. Motorcyclists gathered at Northridge Mall on Sunday 28 November, 2010,  to collect toys, food, clothes and toiletries that will be distributed to needy families, retirement homes and orphanages throughout the Free State. Thousands of spectators gathered to admire the variety of motorcycles, all “decorated” with toys. The bikers also took part in a mass-procession, a 17km ride through Bloemfontein, creating awareness for this worthy cause.

Many businesses were represented at the Bloemfontein Toy Run. Heinrich, debonair owner of Speed World, Bloemfontein and Welkom looked real cool in his dad’s lederhosen. Good on you, Hein! Reg Walkerly and his wife Leonie - who owns Ratwear leather clothing - were there supporting the cause. Nicky Hiles, owner of Inzinbi Plant Hire, Welkom, had a huge teddy on his Harley handlebars belying the tough exterior of this iconic businessman and biker.

George, who’s a biker for Christ, (Riding for Revival MCC) had a toy pinned to his lapel. Beautiful couple, Aniel and Wayne from Koeberg MCC, never miss a Toy Run or an issue of Bike SA.

It was indeed a fun-filled day with clothing and food stalls and various lucky draws. The live band, Borderline produced tunes from the sixties onwards and added to the festive air. Among the prizes for the man with the longest beard, or the lady who reached the stage first carrying her husband and many others, the prize for the bike displaying the most toys (265) was Ou Ryperd. This Honda 750K has belonged to Andre and Wanda Pretorius for the past 31 years. The Pretorius couple not only head up the Toy Run Organization Free State (TROFS) committee, but spend a great deal of the year helping communities in need.

According to Wanda R68, 000 was collected at this year’s event. TROFS also received R5000 worth of tinned food as well as R3000 frozen and fresh vegetables to distribute to needy families.  The toys collected filled a four-ton truck! Toy Run collected “Happy Packets” for this year's festive season in the form of hampers, which include toys, basic cosmetic and health products and food to help ease the strain on these families.

“Toy Run is a registered charity organisation that works throughout the year to help needy shelters, orphanages, homes, hospitals and charities within the specific community”, says Wanda.

The Toy Run is the perfect opportunity for the motorcycling community to show its care and empathy to those in need. Toy Run started up in 1997, but was only officially registered as TROFS in 2003. At the same time it became affiliated to the National Toy Run Forum and continues to grow with unprecedented success.

Well done, Bloemfontein!

Bloemfontein Toy Run 2010

This 31 year-old motorcycle, called Ou Ryperd (Old Horse), displayed the most toys : 265!

Beautiful couple Aniel and Wayne from Koeberg MCC never miss a Toy Run
People didn't mind acting the clown for a good cause!

Heinrich, owner of Speed World Bloemfontein, sports his dad's lederhosen
Live band, Borderline played music from the sixties
Golden couple Reg and Leonie Walkerly of Bloemfontein
Intrepid businessman from Welkom, Nicky Hiles  on his Harley
No caption needed

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  1. Great article for a very Awesome cause. So good to see folks coming together to help others.

  2. A very colourful parade of bikes and all for a great cause. Good article and pics.

  3. Nog net altyd gelees van die "Toy Run". Dis seker 'great' om self daar te wees! Goeie artikel, Jo!!

  4. Wow, so many lovely stuff toys. Never knew of such thing. They should show it on Discovery Channel or some channel. Interesting

  5. What a great event and for such a wonderful cause!! I love your photos! And so many toys!! Absolutely incredible! Hope you have a great week, Jo! Enjoy!


  6. What a great idea ! We had a toy collection here too for poor children for Christmas gifts. Unfortunatel I have no toys to give away, but as Waterloo is quiet a rich community there were trucks of toys !
    I just saw little Toby through Sky ! He weighs 4.200 kg now !! and is only 3 weeks old tomorrow ! He looks much older.

  7. Wow, Jo! How wonderful!
    I also have a blogger buddy who livess there! Cool!

  8. What a great article, Jo... Glad you did it for the magazine. AND--it was a terrific 'giving' experience. Love all of the stuffed toys. How special!!!!! Love all of the photos also. Bikers can be very colorful people, can't they???

  9. Great aritcle. Interesting event. Thanks for sharing your photos.

  10. It's so cute to see those big bad bikers with little teddy bears on their handlebars.
    Hooray for your and their generosity.


Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate your feedback. Jo