Thank you from the ULYSSES CLUB Inc – LOCKYER BRANCH – TOY RUN Committee
From the TOY RUN Committee, we would like to say to every single person who contributed in any way to our 2018 Ipswich TOY RUN, a massive THANK YOU. From the Riders & Pillions to the Businesses (small & large) and the General Public, without whom we could not make this event the spectacle that it is. Kudos also must go to all the Lockyer Branch members who work hard and with dedication that made the 2018 Ipswich TOY RUN another successful event.
The Toy Run begins at 5.00 am for us with the setting up of tables, roping off areas, the Salvo cooking station and signage. We are eternally grateful to the BRASSALL SHOPPING CENTRE as we take over the entire Centre and car park for a few disruptive hours on the Sunday morning. We might only be there for five hours, but we completely fill the carpark allotted in the front of the Centre with around 700 BIKES, TRIKES, SPYDERS, MONKEY & POSTIE BIKES alike and then with still more turning up we proceed to use the parking behind the Centre. The 2018 Toy Run had 720 confirmed 2 and 3 wheeled vehicles, which was a little down when compared to the previous five years, which have easily exceeded 800 each year.
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Along with these 720 riders, we estimate another 600 (80% of bikes on the day do have pillions) in the parade, which brings participants to a figure of 1300. With all these people congregating at the Shopping Centre, it becomes very crowded and, adding on to this already large number, we have the IPSWICH residents coming to marvel at the massed collection of machines and riders. It rivals any other event that I am aware of that brings so many different people together and is for the sole purpose of charity and goodwill. There are no First Prizes; there is no Glory for the entrants; just a satisfaction in helping causes that desperately require help.
Through our support of the Salvation Army, the Lockyer Branch is able to bring smiles and a little joy and comfort to the marginalised children & families around Ipswich during the festive period when, for many, it is the hardest time to cope. Our other fiscal support is the preferred charity of the Ulysses Club Inc. Many years before, our founder and member #1, Mr Stephen Dearnley OAM, proposed an idea that the Ulysses Club fund research specifically targeting a cure to Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). It is simply known as UCARF (Ulysses Club Arthritis Research Fund). Please do yourself a favour and buy The Ulysses Story (2018 edition) which is just $20 from the Gear Shop and have a read. P.S. – you may notice the branch shirts on the cover look a lot like ours!
Our TOY RUN route is 21 kilometres long and winds its way through the populated areas of Ipswich. At 10:30, the call goes out to start the engines and, leaving Brassall, we pass hordes of spectators in the suburbs of One Mile, Leichhardt, Churchill, Flinders View, Eastern Heights and Raceview, all under full Qld Police Escort. This enables us a continuous ride (no stopping) finishing at the Ipswich Showgrounds, where we try to have all the bikes assemble on the central oval. After this 45-minute ride, the TOYS and other gifts from the riders are given over to the Salvation Army. Some years the furniture truck hasn’t been big enough to hold all the goodwill, but we will never say NO to a donation; we will always find a way of getting that gift to the right people. For those who do register for the event, this is when they could see if they have been lucky in ‘winning’ one of the perpetual draw prizes. It always amazes me how many of these prizes find their way into the back of the Salvo truck. These prizes are given generously and donated by local businesses or individuals.
All this hard work, countless hours of preparation, along with months of planning the whole event is done and dusted in a short eight hours.
The Lockyer Branch Toy Run has, for the past number of years, not only averaged approximately 800+ bikes for the event but also manages to raise in excess of $20,000.00 for charity. The funds are disbursed between the Salvation Army and UCARF. We are extremely proud to say there are no funds “kept” for use by the Lockyer Branch or its Members; it is truly a labour of love. The TOY donations etc. are looked after by the Salvos directly and passed on FREE to the needy of the Ipswich District. It is all about CHARITY and doing something for those who truly need a little help. Our rewards range from complete exhaustion, sunburn and stress, all the way through to the grateful smiles we know we caused.
The Lockyer Branch is rightfully proud of being the recipients of Ulysses Club Awards for donations to UCARF. We have been awarded two Jo Dearnley Awards and four Good Joint Awards. I am sure we could have a few more but with the good-natured competition of other Branches, it sees others working hard to ‘beat’ us. It is gratifying to see this as Rheumatoid Arthritis sufferers are going to be the ultimate winners. So, the challenge is there from Lockyer Branch. Try and beat us and, if you do, we will honestly applaude your efforts and immediately challenge you to do it all over again. We have been doing so for the past 21 years!
Written for and on behalf of the Lockyer Branch (Qld) by,
Ian ‘Foggy’ Winter
UC# 53026 TM#59
Branch President & Toy Run Coordinator (2018)
Toy Run Committee 2018: Gary Boyd UC# 64651, Neil ‘Binge’ Jeffery UC# 57534, Alan ‘Mousey’ Gray UC# 11713, Peter ‘FiM’ Bailey UC# 60950, Gavin ‘Woody’ Lind UC# 65629, Gary ‘Chad’ Hardwick UC# 33264, Grace ‘Ms Prissy’ Domingo UC# 57879, Sharon ‘Show Pony’ Bailey UC# 60951, Janelle ‘Skittles’ Lind UC# 65630.
Photo from Raffle Ticket selling 2017.
Left to right: FiM, Inspector Keith, QPS Officer, Linda (Salvo), Snr Sgt Troy, QPS Officer, Foggy, Mousey, Woody, Ms Prissy, Show Pony and Deb (Coordinator of 2017). Yes, our bikes are INSIDE the Centre.
On the centre field of the Ipswich Showgrounds.
The leading vehicle of the 2018 Toy Run. (ps, it belongs to Foggy and Ms Prissy)