Bikers help Santa
KEVIN Johnson looks tough as nails.
He is bald with a rugged beard, earrings and tattoos up his arms.
But the badges on his jacket vest tell another story.
There are eight that signal his commitment to the Ulysses Toy and Tucker Christmas Charity motorcycle ride.
Yesterday he joined about 70 riders from Noosa and 177 from Caloundra who made their way along the Sunshine Coast to Ettamogah Pub.
Along the way they picked up toys and food donations from businesses and residents to donate to the Pyjama Foundation.
The Pyjama Foundation is an Australian children's charity established in 2004.
It aims to support children in out-of-home care with reading and literacy support via a volunteer mentoring program.
"I have got three children and 12 grandchildren and I would not want any of them to go without if they were doing it tough," Mr Johnson said.
"The turnout for this year's ride is the biggest in years.
"We have got a delivery truck chock-a-block with donations.
"I sold out of support badges and could have sold dozens more."
Burly looking Graham McKewin also has a heart of gold.
He has been supporting the charity ride since it began in the 1980s.
The only thing that has stopped him was a major operation to replace his oesophagus last year.
"It is a great day out and it is for a great cause: struggling families," he said.
"You get a proud feeling riding along with a group and seeing people wave and toot their horns."
As well as the experienced riders, there were plenty of first timers too.
Eduardo Brescia joined Ulysses just four months ago.
He said he was almost brought to tears by the huge support for the riders and the community.
"To give back to society makes you feel good on the inside," he said.
"We are meant to be big, tough blokes but the Pyjama Foundation is such a beautiful cause.
"They do great work helping children in need."
The Pyjama Foundation will deliver the donated gifts before Christmas to families on their database.