Chiang Mai ToyRide Keeps Giving and Riding

The Chiang Mai ToyRide is not just about toys!

Toy feeding frenzy at Pa Muang School near Mae Rim!

Toy feeding frenzy at Pa Muang School near Mae Rim!

Netting over 200,000 baht, the 2009 Chiang Mai ToyRide (CMTR) annual charity motorcycle ride was a resounding success last January, and northern Thailand’s children in need continue to benefit from the funds raised through individual donations, business supporters, major sponsors and headline sponsors Tesco-Lotus, X-Centre, GT-Rider, Yamaha, Richco Power Sports, Thailand Freunde e.V. and AA Insurance.

Playgrounds Plus! As part of CMTR’s new Playgrounds Plus program, several schools in need have been identified as recipients of playground equipment, educational books, athletic equipment and uniforms, and/or other specific needs at each location. The Chiang Mai ToyRide’s policy is to help children in need with goods, not money, with funds channelled through Give and Live, a registered non-profit in America and an official Thai foundation. Donation events are festive and encourage interaction with riders and kids, normally including snacks and toys for each child, plus a few games, a clown and short presentations of goods or construction projects with the school staff.

New toilets for tots! On 11 August 2009, with the assistance of CMTR headline sponsor X-Centre, Pa Muang School near Mae Rim in the Mae Sa Valley got a brand new bank of toilets. Broken and smelly, the old ones looked like a quick ticket to the hospital. The 70,000 baht project (casually named “Sawadee Crap”) was constructed by a local contractor with supervision from CMTR committee members. About 15-20 bikers joined the ride for the dedication, lunch, the school’s Mother’s Day celebration, several dances from tiny, costumed students and a few tug o’ war games between kids aged 4-6 and riders aged 25-70. With mothers on the kids’ end of the rope, the riders never won a match.

New uniforms for teens! Students from Bo Kham School near Samoeng, last year’s recipient of blankets, food, toys and athletic equipment, requested football uniforms for their two teams. A red set and a green set with CMTR logos appeared on their two competing teams in a Samoeng tournament on 1 August 2009, assuring that the Chiang Mai ToyRide would be on at least one winning team. Several riders came along for the fun.

The kids always beat the riders at tug o’ war!

The kids always beat the riders at tug o’ war!

One tiny tot swimming in a sea of toys!

One tiny tot swimming in a sea of toys!

Children’s Day Remote! On a cold winter morning following the main fund-raising ride on 4 January, the annual Children’s Day Remote event on 10 January brought toys, warm blankets and food for 280 children and parents, plus a few hardy riders, to the small village of Ban Bo Kaew beyond Samoeng in the mountains.

More giving in the works! Several more projects and events are planned for 2009 with three more schools receiving tailored donations during the next four months. (Specific dates will be announced on the CMTR website at www.chiangmaitoyride.com.) This September, San Tor School near Hang Dong will get new athletic equipment, ping pong table, illustrated books and a computer for the library, educational toys for the younger students, plus book bags, food and toys for everyone. Huay Nam Khao School near Mae Wang is scheduled for a new playground, plus books and athletic equipment in November. The Ban Mai preschool north of Chiang Dao is also on deck for a playground and educational toys once their new building is completed. On Christmas Eve, Santa will arrive with bags of stuffed animals for the third annual CMTR Christmas Giveaway in the acute care wards at Maharaj Hospital in Chiang Mai.

Mark your calendar for Sunday, 21 Feb 2010! Next year’s main charity motorcycle ride is scheduled for Sunday, 21 February, 2010 with a parade through Chiang Mai then off to the X-Centre for party, food, entertainment, games and the famous Toy Giveaway. Picture a small mountain of toys surrounded by a hundred, wide-eyed, salivating kids. There’s always one tiny tot that dives in and starts swimming. The donation events throughout the year are free for everyone.  The cost of the main ride? One toy. You’ll give and get many smiles in return.

Comments are closed.

Thailand Mania Sponsors and Partners: