Toy Run organizers gather for Len Bodaly, far left, who is unable to ride his bike in the Sept. 19 event this year, to bring his donation of a Tonka truck. From left to right from Bodaly are Greg Philpott (founding member and second vice chair), Brian Loudon (founding member) and Tom Wall (first vice chair). The sign from the 25th year was used as a prop, even though this is the 36th year. (SONJA DRINKWATER / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)

Illness sidelines Toy Run rider for 2020

This year’s Toy Run on Saturday, Sept. 19 will be a socially-distanced one



Port Alberni Toy Run member Len Bodaly has had quite the year.

Along with the threat of COVID-19, he has had a stroke and seizures, which dictate that he will not be able to ride his motorbike or drive a vehicle for at least six months.

For 2020, he will have to support the ride virtually instead of physically.

Bodaly traditionally donates a Tonka truck to the Alberni Valley Toy Run. This year organizers met with Bodaly ahead of time to accept his toy donation since he won’t be able to ride on Sept. 19.

“They were my favourite toys as a kid,” he explained. “I have been donating since the seventh annual Toy Run,” he says. “I am really going to miss it.”

Bodaly said he has been receiving a lot of support from his employer, Lordco, through his illness.

This year’s Toy Run on Saturday, Sept. 19 will be a socially-distanced one. Donations can be brought to Glenwood Centre on Saturday between noon and 4 p.m.—there won’t be a parade of bikes coming into town like usual.

People who decide to make a donation of money or a new unwrapped toy will be given a Toy Run sticker.

Money raised goes to support local youth like the Alberni Valley Wrestling Club, Special Olympics, the Ahousaht basketball team, Hilton Centre, ADSS Breakfast Club, Girl Guides, drive-in movie nights and much more.

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