THE COVID-19 shutdown forced events across the city to hibernate through Autumn and Winter, but organisers of the Huggie Bear Memorial Toowoomba Blanket Run refused to cancel their plans.

The run, now in its 24th year, usually attracts hundreds of riders who meet at Picnic Point before touring the Darling Downs.

That was out of the question this year.

Instead the organisers at Downs Motorcycle Sporting Club staggered their run, giving each participating club a window to drop off donations while maintaining social distancing.

President Mark Andrews said the restrictions resulted in a better outcome for the run's nominated charities; St Vincent de Paul and the Help a Friend Club.

"We could not get a straight answer from Queensland Health about whether second-hand blankets were safe, so they are all new," he said.

"The numbers are down but the quality is up."

Members of God's Squad CMC deliver blankets for the 2020 Huggie Bear Memorial Toowoomba Blanket Run organised by Downs Motorcycle Sporting Club under coronavirus restrictions, Sunday, May 31, 2020. Picture: Kevin Farmer
Members of God's Squad CMC deliver blankets for the 2020 Huggie Bear Memorial Toowoomba Blanket Run organised by Downs Motorcycle Sporting Club under coronavirus restrictions, Sunday, May 31, 2020. Picture: Kevin Farmer

The run raised about $900 and collected 70 blankets.

"That is about 70 per cent of that we would normally do," Mr Andrews said.

The run honoured Huggie Bear, a much-loved Darling Downs biker who passed away several years ago.

"He was member of the Leather Clad Angles and he was a big organiser of the run," Mr Andrews said.

It attracted riders from across Southeast Queensland.

"Most motorcyclists are working class people and we realise how tough it is for some people, especially now," Mr Andrews said.

"Unfortunately, the need will not got away because of the coronavirus."

 

Members of God's Squad CMC (from left) Todd Norman, Eddie Patten, Dallas Pickop and Doc Butters deliver blankets for the 2020 Huggie Bear Memorial Toowoomba Blanket Run organised by Downs Motorcycle Sporting Club under coronavirus restrictions, Sunday, May 31, 2020. Picture: Kevin Farmer
Members of God's Squad CMC (from left) Todd Norman, Eddie Patten, Dallas Pickop and Doc Butters deliver blankets for the 2020 Huggie Bear Memorial Toowoomba Blanket Run organised by Downs Motorcycle Sporting Club under coronavirus restrictions, Sunday, May 31, 2020. Picture: Kevin Farmer


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