- Look out, here come the annual Toy Runs
- Thousands of bikers nationwide play Santas
- Read your local motoring media for more info
CAPE TOWN (and many other cities, towns and villages across South Africa): – It’s arguably the world’s biggest motorcycle charity event and, after nearly four decades, one of the best-known.
On Sunday morning, November 18, Cape Town’s Killarney International Raceway will host arrival of thousands of bikers on the 36th annual Cape Town Toy Run – one of more than 20 across Southern Africa.
Thousands of riders on motorcycles of every size and genre, festooned with gifts of all descriptions, will converge on Killarney in two enormous convoys, one starting at the Grand Parade, at 10am, the other from the Grand West Casino, leaving at 10.30am.
Each group will take more than half an hour to pass any given point along the routes, providing a spectacle that every year brings out thousands of spectators to cheer them on; Toy Runs are no longer a biker ‘jols’ – they’re a pilgrimage for the younger people.
THERE’S NEVER ENOUGH
It brings Christmas to thousands of children in foster homes, orphanages, clinics, places of safety, grassroots day-care centres and creches across the nation, a silent minority for whom the festival would not exist were it not for the riders.
However, it’s never enough; there are always more children in need than there are toys to give them.
Which is why the Cape Town Toy Run – and many others – are not just for bikers; they’re for anybody who ever received a gift on Christmas morning,and is ready to give back for the benefit of those who have not.
While we ask you not to break into the mass rides along the way (a very real danger to the riders) you are very welcome to join the festivities (in Cape Town) at Killarney International Raceway – just bring toys!
They don’t even have to be new; each year the Toy Run receives hundreds of well-loved toys from children who, once they understand what the Runs are all about, give up their favourite toys for a child less fortunate – and it is said that those toys bring with them a special karma.
If you are a licensed rider with a roadworthy motorcycle or scooter we encourage you to join one of the mass rides. There”s something soul-stirring in taking part in a motorcycle parade that stretches way out of sight – up front and behind – and organised and marshalled from start to end with traffic services and paramedics in attendance.
FIVE-TON TRUCKS LOADED WITH GIFTS
If you can’t join the Cape Town ride (perhaps you don’t have a motorcycle) then join the riders at Killarney International Raceway and place your toy(s) in one of two huge trucks parked there for the purpose.
Bikers say you don’t really know the meaning of Christmas until you’ve seen a five-ton truck overflowing with toys, each one a gift from someone like you and on its way to a needy child.
Every year the Toy Run receives thousands of fluffy toys (the symbol of the Toy Run is, after all, a Teddy bear) but there is also a great need for toys for older children: dolls, toy vehicles (cars, motorcycles, trucks and, especially, fire engines!) as well as sport sets, arts and crafts equipment, and games.
There’s no charge to join the Cape Town mass ride and donating toys. The trucks will be waiting for you (and probably your pillion) in the pits area at the Raceway, along with refreshment stalls and badge and T-shirt sales.
You can pre-register at Quicket to guarantee your badge or you can just pitch up at the start venue on your motorcycle with your toy(s) on the day, or in your car (with toys, of course!) at Killarney International Raceway.
You’re also invited to join in the festivities in the Main Event Arena, including the bar and clubhouse, which will be open for food and refreshment sales, with live music and other entertainment, a dedicated children’s playground, badge and T-shirt sales, motorcycle displays and a host of stalls offering bikewear and bling for you and your bike.
IF YOU CAN’T GET THERE, HERE’S HOW TO DONATE
Entry will be R30 for adults, free for chilodren under 14. Book online for the biker party of the year at Quicket . It takes funds to run an event this big; many very generous companies donate their services to the event but there are still costs, such as traffic control, safety and security, fencing, tents, entertainment, permits, etc.
Any donations towards these costs will be gratefully received at Nedbank account 1676016228, Hout Bay Branch. Code 167609; proof of payment can be faxed to 0867329717 or emailed to email@example.com.
Any excess funds will be used to buy more presents for the many hundreds of homes, orphanages, places of safety, hospitals, organisations and less-affluent communities that rely on the Toy Run to provide toys and gifts for children in need.
The reality is that there are never enough toys to go round. The bikers cannot do it alone; it takes a whole community to look after all its children.
Why don’t YOU join it?