If you noticed Old Bar Road invaded by scores of motorcyclists last Sunday, don't worry, you didn't stumble into the filming of the next version of the Mad Max film franchise.
It was just those kind souls from the Ulysses club doing their bit for charity once again, and this year's charity is "Hope in a Suitcase", a not for profit organisation that provides a suitcase packed with essential items to children in the foster care system
"At least 15 children's lives will be empowered" by the actions of the Ulysses club and its supporters this year, Hope in a Suitcase founder, Rachel Clancy said.
"But not only that. There's space created for such change and it makes people start to think about kids in care.
"Imagine a kid in care, sitting there feeling worthless and unloved and then hearing all these motorbikes pass and to be told the motorbikes are actually out there rallying for you, because they see your worth and they think you're important."
Back after a three year COVID postponement, the benevolent bikers of Ulysses Club Manning Valley Branch were thrilled to be back for their annual charity run, renamed this year as the Christmas Charity Ride.
The entourage included 91 bikes, 101 registered participants, and one SES truck, all heading out under police escort to finish at the Old Bar Tavern.
The Ulysses Club threw the invitation open to anyone who wanted to participate and were joined by riders from both across the region and beyond.
imagine a kid in care, sitting there feeling worthless and unloved and then hearing all these motorbikes pass and to be told the motorbikes are actually out there rallying for you, because they see your worth and they think you're important- Hope in a Suitcase founder, Rachel Clancy
Each rider paid a $15 registration fee while lucky door prizes provided by local businesses were drawn at the completion of the ride at the Old Bar Tavern.
In all, $3100 was raised for 'Hope in a Suitcase', which equates to the cost of about 15 suitcases to be provided to children in need.
According to Ulysses club member John Green, it was club president Graeme Dunning who identified the opportunity to help a worthy cause.
"Graeme is a school teacher out at Tuncurry and he could really see the need for it," John said.
"So he contacted the reps from the charity who came to one of our meetings and explained what was going on with it, and we said 'right, that'll do us'."
Their efforts have been greatly appreciated by the charity, who rely on the undertakings of individuals and groups like the Ulysses club to support their ongoing work.
"We entirely rely on donations and support from the community, so it's really fundamental in the work that we do," Rachel Clancy said.
If you would like to donate to Hope in a Suitcase you can do so via their website; hopeinasuitcase.com.au/#
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