Members of the Port Alberni Toy Run accept a donation from Wayne Coulson (second from right) outside of Chances RimRock Gaming Centre on Thursday, Aug. 6. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)

Coulson makes teddy bear donation to Port Alberni Toy Run

Toy Run selling teddy bears to make up for lost revenue during COVID-19

Wayne Coulson, of the Coulson Group of Companies, has made a donation to the Port Alberni Toy Run to help them through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Toy Run members have been selling cuddly teddy bears wearing Port Alberni Toy Run t-shirts—and some of them wearing masks—to make up for lost revenue, as there will be no Toy Run dance, beer gardens or Poker Run this year. Proceeds from the teddy bear sales will go to the many charities in town that the group supports each year.

READ MORE: Port Alberni Toy Run launches new fundraiser for 2020

On Thursday, Aug. 6, Coulson delivered a cheque to Toy Run members for 100 of the bears. Coulson took a box of bears to give to his staff, but donated most of them back to the Port Alberni Toy Run. The bears will be distributed to first responders, who will give them to children affected by an accident, house fire or criminal event.

Toy Run treasurer Robin Klatt said the teddy bear sale has been going “really well” so far.

“We’ve sold more than 500,” she said. “That’s 1,500 we’ve ordered so far. And I’m sewing 15 to 20 little masks for them a day,” she added with a laugh.

The Port Alberni Toy Run, which in the past has drawn hundreds of riders to the Alberni Valley, will be a “drive-by” toy run in 2020. Riders will be invited to come into town on Saturday, Sept. 19 to drop off toys and donations, although there won’t be a route for spectators to gather, and motorcyclists are asked not to gather in large groups.

READ MORE: Port Alberni’s annual Toy Run switches up over COVID-19

The teddy bears are available for $20 at BuyLow Foods and Tyler’s No Frills, as well as various motorcycle shops around the Island.

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