North Island Gazette file photo Nearly 80 bikers were involved at one point for the annual toy run.

Annual toy run ends last year with donations to the hamper fund

The charity event helped numerous families across the North Island, donating and wrapping gifts.

It’s a sad end to what is known as the Toy Run after the organizer felt the charity event ran its shelf life, but the event has helped North Island families for what could be decades.

Dawn Harilstad, the organizer for the toy run, said in a phone call that she was “really disappointed that it’s the last year. If you’ve ever been in Port Alberni and seen the support, it’s the support we wanted with people on the street, sitting in their cars waiting, since this is for our kids on the North Island. This is what helps kids.”

Rain or shine, Harilstad made certain that the event would give toys and money to a good cause. The Lionness Club were once involved in the process as well, having wrapped the toys for donation.

The toys collected during the early September charity event are donated to the Gazette Hamper Fund around the holiday season. Money is also donated to the fund.

In the event’s history, as much as 80 motorcyclists would turn up who would then travel between Port McNeill and Port Hardy. Decades ago Harilstad would throw an annual dance for locals, which was replaced by a charity pig roast and stomp. The pig roast is organized by Annie LeBlanc.

Over the years, the event raised well over $22,000 since 2014.

Harilstad concluded that the toy run helped numerous families over the years, who “don’t have enough money to go out and buy food.”

Just Posted

Oh Yeah takes a bite out of Woodchuckers at OrcaFest slo-pitch tournament in Port McNeill

Oh Yeah defeated the Woodchuckers 21-10 after seven innings.

Gate House Theatre reopens, kicks off OrcaFest in style

It was an evening of laughter and good times and the perfect launch to the festival weekend.

Port Hardy council creates subscription-based portal for agendas and minutes

It was a “council decision based on presentation by staff during financial planning budget meetings.”

World Class Hiking Trail For The North Island?

The idea is getting some serious attention.

Provincial grants help communities map, meet housing needs

The next intake for funding is open until Nov. 29, 2019.

VIDEO: Canadian zoos’ captive breeding programs help preserve endangered species

Programs considered last-ditch effort to prevent local extinctions of turtles, butterflies and more

B.C. log export rules killing us, northwest harvester says

NorthPac Forestry says Skeena Sawmills has plenty of timber

Vancouver man arrested after pregnant woman’s SUV stolen, then crashed

Police are recommending charges against a 22-year-old Vancouver man

Environment groups warned saying climate change is real could be seen as partisan

Talk of climate change could be viewed as advocating against Maxime Bernier, the leader of the People’s Party of Canada

Search crews find 4-year-old boy who went missing near Mackenzie

George went missing early Saturday afternoon

15-year-old boy drowns after midnight jump into Okanagan Lake

The RCMP and BC Coroners Service are investigating the drowning.

Canadian entrepreneurs turning beer byproduct into bread, cookies and profits

Some breweries turn to entrepreneurs looking to turn spent grain into treats for people and their pets

Most Read