The 17th annual Ipswich Toy Run will go ahead tomorrow as planned despite rumours it had been cancelled because Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart will take part.
Social media has been alive with rumours saying that the “political stunt” had caused the toy run to be cancelled.
However, organiser and Ulysses Lockyer Branch secretary Ian Winter confirmed this morning that the ride will continue as planned.
“We’ve heard the rumours, but it’s not true,” he says.
“We’ve been getting a lot of positive and negative comments from within the branch and from outside.
“Some are saying they won’t come because of the Commissioner and some are even saying they weren’t going to come, but now that the Commissioner is attending they will.
“I also heard the Fraser Coast branch toy run had been cancelled for political reasons, but it was only apathy. They just couldn’t get their act together.”
Ian says they are expecting up to 800 to attend tomorrow’s toy run leaving from the Brassall Shopping Centre with registration from 8am and the ride from 10.30am.
“Our biggest was just over 850 but the past three years our numbers have suffered from storms and rain the day before which keeps people away.
“However, it’s a beautiful weekend here and it’ll be 29 degrees and fine, so we’re expecting 800.”
Ian says the Police Commissioner will ride a police bike in his police uniform, but will not lead the parade or give any speeches.
“I’m not sure where he will ask to ride,” he says. “He’s just an ordinary participant.”
Ian says the Ipswich toy run is the longest running in South East Queensland and in its 16 years has raised more than $150,000 in cash, alone, for the Salvation Army and the Ulysses Club Arthritis Research Fund.
“We’ve raised over $20,000 every year for past six years,” he says.
“Then there’s also toys, food and goodwill, and you can’t put a value on that.”
When asked about the current government crackdown on bikies, Ian answered: “I’m not allowed to answer.”