Cape Town Charity Toy Run

Join burly bikers in brightening up the holidays for children across the country


It’s that time of the year again when gleaming Harley-Davidsons, lightning-fast Ducatis and more snarl through the streets of the Mother City for the Cape Town Toy Run, an annual motorcycling charity event that sees hordes of bikers collect teddies and toys to delight underprivileged children over the festive season. This year’s trek is scheduled for Sunday, 24 November 2013.

The Cape Town leg of the run – bikers depart from both Makro in Ottery and GrandWest Casino at 10:30am and carry the toys to Maynardville Park in Wynberg – makes for a spectacular show, and the general public are encouraged to watch the procession from safe vantage points; for safety reasons, viewers are prohibited from parking vehicles along the island of the M5.

The event at the Maynardville end point (gates are open from 10am) is open to the public (with the entrance fee of at least one toy) and has become a well-attended calendar highlight complete with a beer garden, food stalls, motorcycle-related merchandise and loads of giveaways throughout the day. With three bands – Tuxedo, the Blues Broers and Rock O’Clock – and stalwart Cape Town comedian Kurt Schoonraad as live entertainment, the day is bound to be a jol in the park.

If you have never taken part in the Toy Run end-point celebration, go out and buy a few toys and support this worthy cause; cash donations are also welcomed. All toys collected for 2013 will be distributed before the end of the year; no toys are kept aside or stored. Remember, the rule is no toy, no entry; this policy will be enforced on the day and empty-handed patrons will either be charged a fee to enter or turned away.

So, open your hearts and your wallets and bring along something to put a smile on the face of a child who would otherwise receive nothing over the festive season.

Suggested donations for the 2013 Cape Town Toy Run

Every year, the Toy Run collects tons of soft toys suitable for young children; however, there is a growing need for gifts for older kids. Here are a few suggested gifts that are appropriate for teenagers.

  • Sports equipment (cricket sets, basketball hoops, soccer balls, tennis balls, rugby balls, etc)
  • Costume jewellery
  • Craft kits
  • Toiletries or make-up for older girls
  • Puzzles and board games
  • Stationery, drawing and art equipment
  • Please be advised, no toy guns of any kind will be distributed

Rules for the 2013 Cape Town Toy Run

  • No unlicensed riders and vehicles are permitted, and traffic officials will be on duty to enforce these rules.
  • Pillions need not be licensed, but normal road rules apply, and no children under 16 years of age are allowed to ride pillion.
  • No private person has been given permission to collect toys or funds in the name of the Toy Run; if you wish to donate but cannot attend, contact the organisers directly at info@toyrun.co.za.
  • While blankets and chairs are permitted into the end venue, no alcohol, food or private cooking stations will be allowed, and organisers reserve the right to confiscate these items.

Please note: bikers participate in the Toy Run at their own risk; organisers and affiliated parties are indemnified of any and all liabilities.

More about the Toy Run

Initially started in 1982 by a few leather-clad road hogs looking to better their rebel reputation and to put smiles on the faces of disadvantaged children during the festive season, the regular November event has snowballed into a mass movement and sees bikers from over 20 cities and towns nationwide take to Mzansi’s roads on the same day each year.

Now, more than three decades since its inception, tens of thousands of bikers from across South Africa collect more than 100,000 toys (on average) prior to the Toy Run and then on the day, adorn their hogs with everything from dolls to dragons. Toys are then distributed to the various centres, from Cape Town to as far as Windhoek and Walvis Bay in Namibia.

As a result, thousands of children in more than 300 orphanages, homes, shelters and hospitals around the country enjoy a truly festive holiday season; not to mention, the initiative also proves that these burly bikers with ZZ Top-style beards and black Ray-Ban sunglasses are just big teddies themselves.

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You don’t have to own a motorcycle to take part, rent a Harley-Davidson for the day and join in on this awesome experience.
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