Skip to main content

'It's just a good thing to do': Saturday marks Fredericton Motorcycle Club's 40th toy drive


The Fredericton Motorcycle Club is riding towards their 40th year collecting toys and donations for the pediatric unit of the Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital in Fredericton.

The group has donated over $100,000 to the unit, along with hundreds of laundry bins of toys.

(Photo courtesy: Zelma Aird)

Members say the tradition connects them with their love for kids and the open road.

“We've seen the children at the hospital, and it's just a good thing to do,” says member and road captain John Aird. “It's sort of unreal. It feels good to know this is going on. And as far as I know, there's never been one cancelled.”

Not even during the pandemic, where they kept themselves – and their bikes – six feet apart.

Saturday marks their 40th time hitting the road for the toy drive. Everyone is hoping the weather holds for the group to ride from the Chalmers Hospital to Nackawic.

(Photo courtesy: Zelma Aird)

“I know the kids really appreciate all the new toys and the money goes towards things that the hospital can't sort of buy them out of their budget,” said founding member Richard Ward.

Bikers can be stereotyped as big and tough – but there are only teddy bears in this group.

Most years, toys can be seen in the windshields or on the back of bikes. They usually see anywhere from 75 to over 100 riders.

It was a full circle moment for Zelma Aird 15 years ago. An emergency saw her grandchild benefit from some of the toys.

“It was a relief to see him just sitting on a bed, quietly playing,” she said. “He was about six years old and I was relieved and he was content.”

The group says nothing will slow them down, already planning for another 40 years down the road.

“It makes us feel good just to see them, the joy in their eyes,” Aird said.

(Photo courtesy: Zelma Aird)

The Chalmers Foundation says the Fredericton Motorcycle Club is the longest continuous supporter of the pediatric unit at the hospital.

This year’s ride will begin with registration and toy drop off at 10 a.m. at the hospital. The ride begins at 11 a.m., travelling in front of the unit’s windows so the group can wave at patients.

Last year, the toy ride raised $7,000 and hundreds of toys for the unit.

The Chalmers Foundation says the unit sees more than 600 overnight visits per year.

For more New Brunswick news visit our dedicated provincial page. Top Stories

Stay Connected