Officials from Charoen Motors/Yamaha present a donation of 25,000 baht to
Robert Straghan, Co-chair of CMTR. (Photo by Ally Taylor)
David Unkovich of CMTR with 4 blokes who came from Australia to join the
Chiang Mai ToyRide. (Photo by Ally Taylor)
By Scott Jones
Everyone exceeded their fun quotas at the third annual Chiang Mai
ToyRide (CMTR) charity motorcycle ride on Sunday, 21 February 2010. Nearly
200 bikes of all shapes and sizes (and riders of all shapes, sizes and ages)
met the Tesco Khamtien parking lot in Chiang Mai to start the ride/parade to
the X-Centre near Mai Rim for an afternoon of food, drink, music, clowns,
magician, best decorated bike contest, prizes, face painting, games, relays
and the famous giveaway to children from the mountain of toys the riders had
donated. The only requirement for admission was one toy, though it was also
mandatory for attendees to smile a lot while watching the antics of the
special guests of the day: about 100 children from Chiang Mai’s School for
the Blind, the Children’s Shelter Foundation, the Glenn Croston House in
Lamphun, and the Ban San Fan Orphange in near Doi Saket.
Life is definitely more fun with a butterfly on your face. (Photo by Ally
By the end of the day, 350 bikes were counted as well as
about a quarter of a million baht in net funds raised through individual
donations, business supporters, major sponsors and headline sponsors: Chiang
Mai Mail, Tesco-Lotus, X-Centre, GT-Rider, Yamaha/Charoen Motor, Richco
Motor Sports, Impulse Tourism, Guitarman and Code Electric.
These funds will be used to help children in need
throughout northern Thailand in CMTR’s Playground Plus Program, which
targets kids that are “under the radar” and haven’t been helped by other
organizations. CMTR’s mission is to identify the needs of children in
villages, orphanages or schools, and then present them with the goods they
want, not the cash, during donation rides and events throughout the year.
Past donation projects include new toilets for a needy school near Mae Rim;
educational books and toys, playground repair, water-proof book backpacks,
food, warm blankets and athletic equipment at other schools and villages;
medical supplies, Santa and his bag of toys in the acute wards of Maharaj
Hospital in Chiang Mai.
The littlest kid grabbed the biggest panda that was about five times her
size! (Photo by Ally Taylor)
These donation events, though on a smaller scale,
encourage interaction between the riders and the kids, like the recent main
ride/fundraiser, where riders competed with the kids in relays and tug o’
war. For the first time ever, the riders actually won a tug o’ war match
against the kids! Clowns and balloons enthralled everyone. Nick the Magician
cast his unique spell on the crowd. The Ol’ Fishing Booth was packed until
the kids had fished it dry of prizes. Cat and butterfly faces flitted
through the crowd on happy kids who had experienced the Face Painting Booth.
All afternoon, many grand musicians from Guitarman entertained folks as they
feasted on food and drink from the X-Centre and major sponsor Miguel’s, both
of whom donated a substantial percentage of their take to the kids.
Anyone is welcome to partake in the festivities at our
donation events throughout the year that will be announced on CMTR’s website
at www.chiangmai toyride.com. Just bring a toy and a big smile!
350 bikes of all sizes and riders of all ages arrive
at the X-Centre for the ToyRide. (Photo by Ally Taylor)
Tension mounts as the mountain of toys is prepared
feeding frenzy. (Photo by Ally Taylor)