There weren’t any red-nosed reindeers, but there were plenty of red Harleys, Suzukis and Kawasakis at the Motorcycle Riders Association Toy Run on Saturday.
It’s an annual Christmas miracle of the motorcycle variety.
The run travels from the Derwent Entertainment Centre in Glenorchy to the Parliament House lawns in Hobart, with about 7000 riders coming in from across the state to participate.
It’s at the Parliament House lawns where the donations are delivered to the Salvation Army.
They are then used to make Christmas a little more merry for less fortunate Tasmanians in the community.
Northern riders gathered at Perth at 10.15am on Saturday, before they departed with an almighty roar for Hobart.
Launceston Salvation Army brother Warren Reeve said the good the donations can do should not be underestimated.
“The toys are gathered up and taken around to all of our distribution centres,” he said.
“As you can imagine we have some smaller distribution centres that don’t have the resources to get these sorts of presents.”
Giving the presents out is a highlight of the year for the Salvation Army.
“What’s amazing is actually the joy on the parents’ faces,” Mr Reeve said.
“Because sometimes the kids aren’t there, but the parents realising they’re going to have things to give to the kids this Christmas is – it just makes a huge difference.
“We love the job.”
He said the 2018 turn-out was “excellent”.
“The general good hearts of people in this community, the camaraderie, and the generosity of them is what blows us away each year,” he said.
“This year it’s excelled itself. We appreciate all that they do for us.”
The Tasmanian toy run is the biggest and oldest in the country.
It’s been running for 38 years, and is only getting bigger.
Even in miserable weather thousands of riders inevitably show up to make a difference, and this year they were blessed with perfect sunshine.
Mr Reeve said he isn’t surprised Tasmania is home to such a popular initiative.
“That’s what we know about Tasmania, it’s a really close-knit community,” he said.
“They come around one another when there’s need.”
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