Lions and business uniting to support Midstream Support Society

by Stephen Dafoe

More than 100 motorcycle riders are expected to start and stop in Morinville for the first Christmas in June Toy Run, a new event that will support the Midstream Support Society.

The event takes place June 6 at 10 a.m. and organizers are excited to get their motors
running and head out on the highway in aid of the charity.

Lions Club members Marty and Deb Robillard came up with the idea to hold the event, and The Morinville Lions Club were quick to lend their support. The Lions will be assisting with sponsorship, registrations and promoting the event, as well as providing volunteers to help run the Toy Run on June 6.

“We weren’t able to participate in the Christmas Auction for the Santa Store this past year,” said Marty Robillard. “We felt we would go ahead and host a toy run instead. We know there are lots of bikes in Morinville, and we know it’s something everyone can get behind.”

Both Robillards are bike enthusiasts themselves.

“It’s the freedom and the feel of the wind on your face,” Marty Robillard said of riding a motorcycle. “It’s better than any convertible as far as I’m concerned. The acceleration, the adrenaline, the relaxation of it all.”

The event is a rain or shine event. The route departs from Technical Automotives in the industrial park and will wind its way through Onaway, Alberta Beach, Barrhead, Westlock, before returning to Morinville. There will be an after party barbeque at Coaches Corner.

Organizers are looking to make the event an annual one. Although the Midstream Support Society’s Santa Store will be the recipient of this summer’s event, the benefactor may change each year.

“We’ll still do a toy run, and it’ll still go to the Santa Store, but the proceeds would go to a different charity,” Deb Robillard said.

Regardless of the cause, riders will be encouraged to bring a toy.

But this year’s inaugural event seeks to offer a broader scope of help for the Midstream by providing the registration proceeds to the charity.

“The Midstream helps out people who can’t make their rent, can’t buy groceries,” said Marty Robillard. “They help people in a lot of different ways.”

Registration for the event is $25 per participant.

Those participating will receive an event t-shirt. Anything left after costs will go to the charity.

The Robillards are personally stepping up through their business Technical Automotives and will be matching the entry fee for the first 100 riders dollar for dollar. “If we have 100 riders, Technical Automotives will donate $2500.”

Organizers are looking for corporate sponsors. Donation in excess of $1000 gets the company name on the back of the event t-shirt.

Registration will take place Friday, June 5 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Technical Automotives and Saturday morning up until 9:30 a.m.

Those interested in pre-registering can call 780-939-3976 or 780-907-8139. Riders are encouraged to register in advance. Those who register by May 15 will receive a goody bag of local items.

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