15 November, 2023
Bring out your toys to spread cheer on annual run
THOUSANDS of dollars and toys have been donated to the Salvation Army through the annual Tablelands Toy Run over the past 27 years, and later this month, it will be back again.
Preparations are well underway for this year’s motorcycle and car cavalcade and coordinator Don Sheppard said they were looking forward to the event.
To be held on Saturday 25 November, it is once again hosted by the Highland Restorers Club – of which Mr Sheppard is president – and supports the Salvation Army’s Christmas appeal.
“It’s the biggest event of the year. It’s all about the Salvation Army appeal and getting the young students into the ‘gift of giving’ program,” he said.
They expect between 140 and 160 motorbikes, while about 20-30 cars will also take part in the event.
Mr Sheppard said the run would leave Tinaroo Rural Fire Brigade at 9am with a sausage sizzle and barbecue available from 7.30am.
From there, they will stop at the Yungaburra Market where students from Yungaburra Primary School will hand over their donations to the Salvation Army.
The motorcade will then travel a little further down the road to Malanda and will again receive donations from the local school.
From there, they will head on to Atherton and then to Tolga, arriving at the Salvation Army store for the final destination.
“It all runs pretty smoothly and usually we get a good roll up.,” Mr Sheppard said.
Tablelands Toy Run will collect gifts and non-perishable food items along the way, to be given to families doing it tough this Christmas.
Mr Sheppard said people could donate along the way and suggested they give goods at one of the stops at Yungaburra, Malanda, Atherton or Tolga to help reduce on-road congestion.
In the spirit of Christmas, Mr Sheppard said many of the participants were set to dress themselves and their cars or motorcycles up in festive flair.
“We usually have a couple of Santa’s on the day. Everyone enjoys themselves thoroughly. It’s good to get involved with a group motorcade,” he said.
“The event just keeps getting bigger and better every year. We are delighted to include the students from Yungaburra and Malanda schools in the program – it instils the gift of giving in young children, to help those less fortunate.”
This is the only toy run Mr Sheppard is aware of in the region, with participants from Cairns to Townsville and further south taking part.
Along the way, they are able to support community groups including Tinaroo Rural Fire Brigade, Malanda SES, the schools and the Salvation Army overall.
“It’s good to get those other agencies and schools involved,” he said.
Tablelands Toy Run will be held on Saturday, 25 November from 9am at Tinaroo Dam and will travel via Yungaburra, Malanda, Atherton and finish at Tolga.