Sylvia McClennan Memorial Toy Run collects toys for kids in hardship, thanks to Celtic Cruisers and Salvation Army

Ulysses Club member David Short on the 2017 Toy Run.
Ulysses Club member David Short on the 2017 Toy Run.

Each December, the Celtic Cruisers, the Glen Innes branch of the motorcyclists’ Ulysses Club, travel around the region, collecting toys donated by the public.

“We do it every year for the underprivileged families in town, so the kids get something for Christmas,” club president Jack Parry said.

The Sylvia McClennan Memorial Toy Run has been held for more than 30 years.

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The club’s ten bikes and vans set out from the Salvation Army Hall on December 8, and visited collection points at Emmaville General Store and FoodWorks Deepwater.

“The run was very successful, with a large amount of toys collected,” Mr Parry said.

They included rocking horses, electronic toys, Mouse Trap board games, racing cars, and teddy bears.

“Every conceivable toy you’d want to know,” Mr Parry said. “A lot of new stuff; quite amazing!”

The club then gives the toys to the Salvation Army to distribute.

The Salvos have spent the last couple of days sorting hundreds of toys into age groups.

Today, they will bundle them up, to give to an estimated nearly 200 children in poor families.

"It gives people an opportunity to do something for others,” Major Amanda Choy-Show said.

“Sometimes people get so caught up in their own world and their own problems. When you give them an opportunity to give to help someone else, it not only helps the people who are in need, but also it helps the people who give. It's good for everyone."

The Salvos will also hand out toys for the St Vincent de Paul Society.

The Ulysses Club would like to thank all the participating collection points in Emmaville, Deepwater, and Glen Innes, and most of all people who donated exceptional toys for families with hardships at Christmas.

"They're the people we must thank most greatly, because without their donations, we wouldn't have a toy run,” Mr Parry said.

Major Choy-Show thanked the community for supporting the Salvation Army’s Christmas appeal and toy appeal.

“We wouldn't be able to do our job if people didn't give, whether by giving toys, or donations for money or food. It's very much appreciated."