Saddle up and ride for the kids

CHILDREN and families of Tamworth who are in need this Christmas will get a helping hand from some hairy –  and not-so-hairy – bikers.

The 28th annual Tamworth Ulysses Club Toy Run on Saturday will ride through the community from the Calala Inn to the Salvation Army on Goonoo Goonoo Rd via the CBD, Oxley Vale, North Tamworth and Nemingha. The ride leaves Calala at 1pm, with bikes and their riders milling from noon and finishes with a sausage sizzle at the Salvation Army in South Tamworth.

Appropriately, Santa will lead the ride on his sleigh ... oops, bike ... but all riders are welcome to register at Calala Inn from noon, making sure they bring donations.

Salvation Army Major David Rogerson said the toy run was essential to the work of the charity at Christmas.

“It’s wonderful Ulysses and the community are getting behind what we’re trying to do with hampers and toys,” he said.

“There is a food voucher that we give for Christmas, but it’s the toys we don’t have, so we depend on the community to provide that through the toy run and the Kmart Wishing Tree.”

Major Rogerson said the charity helped 50 to 80 families and toys were needed as some families could have from four to six children.

“There were 1300 people through our service this year with 1000 for emergency relief and 300 in the drug and alcohol counselling service,” Major Rogerson said.

“The families affected are blessed by the community’s giving. We are inundated with people wanting assistance, so there is certainly lots of need out there.”

He said as well as brightening Christmas for those in need with gifts of food and toys, the charity also held a Christmas party and a Christmas lunch prior to Christmas Day.

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