News

Santa revs up to help kids

Ron Gaudron was Santa in the sidecar in the first Toy Run back in 1981. Kevin Watts is the rider and they’ll both ride in the 30th anniversay Toy Run this Sunday. Where are the helmets?
Ron Gaudron was Santa in the sidecar in the first Toy Run back in 1981. Kevin Watts is the rider and they’ll both ride in the 30th anniversay Toy Run this Sunday. Where are the helmets?

In 1981 some local members of the Motorcycle Riders Association had an idea - collect cash and soft toys and distribute them to needy kids for Christmas. The Toy Run was born.

Thirty years later and the Toy Run is going strong. During its long life it has been organised by various motorbike clubs, bike shops and organisations. Six years ago the Northern Rivers Branch of the Ulysses Club took it over.

The North Coast Children's Charity Motorcycle Toy Run will celebrate its 30th anniversary this Sunday, December 4. The bikes will rumble from Ballina to Lismore with their fluffy cargo of toys.

Bikes and riders will assemble at the Ballina Seagulls Rugby League Grounds at 8am. Everyone is invited along with the Ballina Lions Club cooking up bacon and egg rolls. Riders with a motorbike are invited to join the run with a trophy for best decorated bike. (It is Christmas after all.)

The bikes will leave Ballina at 10am and arrive at the Harold Federicks Car Park in Dawson Street, Lismore, about half an hour later, where the Lismore Lions will have a sausage sizzle and drinks. There's also raffles and prizes.

Ron Gaudron, who organised the event this year, was Santa back in 1981. (Yes, that's him in the sidecar.)

"We normally get between 150 and 250 riders but this year we're hoping to get 300 or more but it just depends on the weather," Ron said. "We have many of the riders from that original run back in '81 riding this year. They'll be behind Santa leading the ride."

Ron won't be donning the beard and the red suit this year. And Santa won't be unhelmeted in a sidecar either.

"No, no. Santa won't be in a sidecar this year, he'll be on the back of a new Can-Am Spider donated by Ongmac," Ron said. "We take all the toys to 2LM after the run and they distribute them for us to the kids," he said. "If there's toys left over they get sent to farm kids out west. The money collected gets split between the six beneficiaries."

The Toy Run's beneficiaries are Biala Special School, North Coast Children's Home, Summerland Early Intervention, Wilson Park School, Byron Shire Early Childhood Intervention, and Jumbunna Early Intervention.

Cash and soft toys will be accepted during the day at Ballina and Lismore. Or toys can be dropped off at Bunnings.


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

IS IT POSSIBLE? How to live alongside flying-foxes

A vexed questionof living with flying foxes will be discussed this Friday at the NPA forum.

THE conflict between urbanites and wildlife has a new battleground

Gamblers can beat betting

BEAT IT: Recovered gambling addict Blayne Marcantelli gives an emotional address at the Responsible Gambling Awareness screening of the movie, Broke, at Ballina Cinema.

Lismore Baker raises awareness for problem gambling.

Elder’s art tells tales of past for today’s kids

INSPIRING: Uncle Digby Moran with Lismore Heights Public student Shannyah Hope at Lismore Regional Gallery.

Bundjalung Elder teaches heritage through art and stories.

Latest deals and offers

WATCH: Local artists ‘paint’ the Opera House with light

RHONDA Roberts and Karla Dickens' work will be seen by millions of visitors and Sydney-siders from tonight.

IS IT POSSIBLE? How to live alongside flying-foxes

A vexed questionof living with flying foxes will be discussed this Friday at the NPA forum.

THE conflict between urbanites and wildlife has a new battleground

Gamblers can beat betting

BEAT IT: Recovered gambling addict Blayne Marcantelli gives an emotional address at the Responsible Gambling Awareness screening of the movie, Broke, at Ballina Cinema.

Lismore Baker raises awareness for problem gambling.

Elder’s art tells tales of past for today’s kids

INSPIRING: Uncle Digby Moran with Lismore Heights Public student Shannyah Hope at Lismore Regional Gallery.

Bundjalung Elder teaches heritage through art and stories.

NSW lags but North Coast booms on renewable energy

But Northern Rivers moving ahead at "cracking pace"

VIDEO: The fastest, easiest way to peel a potato?

There is a fast way to peel potatoes.

This 30-second video shows how quickly you can peel a potato

The best retro movies of the week? May 27 - June 3

Gregory Peck Photo Contributed

This week TV fan get to see Tom Cruise in a 1980s classics

Perfect time to invest in Northern Rivers property

The Northern Rivers rental market is tighter than Sydney making it the perfect time for investors to get better returns out of property than superannuation or banks deposits.

Low interest rates and tight rental market are prime time to invest