Hannam Vale Salvation Army and Ulysses Motorcycle Club toy run 2018

It was a very noisy Sunday morning in Wingham on December 2 as around 250 motorcycles roared in and out of Wingham for the annual Manning Valley Salvo’s Toy Run, some of them coming from Port Macquarie and Newcastle to take part.

The toy run is organised by the Taree branch of the Ulysses Motorcycle Club to deliver toys to and raise funds for the Hannam Vale Salvation Army, who help out more than families as a result of the Toy Run.

The weather was not kind for the bikers on the day, who were dressed in santa suits or leathers, as the temperature reached 35 degrees as they were riding on the highway on the way from Wingham to Hannam Vale.

“This year, because of the high temperatures, I went out and bought the 24 packs of bottled water, so I kept giving them out to everybody and making sure they stayed hydrated. The last thing we needed was anyone getting crook from it,” organiser Mike Holmes said.

The Club exceeded all previous donations to the Hannam Vale Salvo’s as, for the first year ever, they completely sold out of the 2500 print run of raffle tickets.

The amount of cash donated was seriously boosted when an anonymous donor, who would not give his name, walked up to one of the Club members at the Wingham pre-ride gathering, and handed over $500 from his wallet.

Last year we donated $2650 as well as all the presents,” Mike said. ““This year looks to be at least $1000 more than that.”

The amount raised would not have been possible with the sponsorship of 30 businesses - too many to list, but Mike wanted to specifically mention of Bunnings, Rocket Tools, Buffalo Motors, Oxley Anchorage Caravan Park, Stones Oysters.

Waving to the kids and blowing our horns - that is the absolute thrill.

Mike Holme

“I’d also like to say thank you to the police. Normally they just take us part way, but the guy that took us, he took us all the way to Harrington,” Mike said.

He reserves special thanks to the community that make the event an special day for those riding,

“Waving to the kids and blowing our horns - that is the absolute thrill - all the public being out there and waving to us, it’s a thrill and that’s what everyone looks forward to,” Mike said.

“Even coming down opposite the Mayo, the aged care home there, they had all the residents out there on the balcony waving and everything.

“It’s absolutely wonderful each year.”