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Introducing 2018 chairman Daryn Young

By Zana Kobayashi

Daryn Young’s first Toy Run was in 1986. As a teenager he accompanied his father Big John Young on the run that at the time consisted of only 80 bikes. He remembers riding down Maitland Road without a helmet and some of The Originals by his side. As his father’s passion for the Toy Run grew so did his own. After having children of his own that passion grew even greater.

‘I still get the same feeling each year as I did on that first ride.’

Since that first ride Daryn has become more involved over the years, in 2014 he took a more active role in the organisation before becoming a full board member in 2014. He is looking forward to carrying the family legacy on in 2018, which will see him take on the role of Chairman.

‘I’m stoked and overwhelmed to have been given this opportunity – I’ve got big shoes to fill but I’m very excited to continue to grow the Toy Run.’

Daryn has been front and centre to the gradual growth of the Toy Run. The last ten years in particular has seen a ten-fold increase in the participants of the Toy Run, which now sits at approximately 10,000 bikes per year.

‘We’ve had people fly from Darwin and ride up from Melbourne. I often hear of people getting their bike license just so they can take part in the Toy Run.’

Growing up in a family who was always into motorcycles, Daryn has also witnessed the way the Toy Run has changed the perception of bikers in his community, the annual event challenging stereotypes and proving that the motorcycle community is made up from all walks of life. It is a community unique in it’s strong desire to give back.

‘It’s proven we have big hearts and as a community we are connected in a passion to help others.’

The most important aspect for Daryn however is always the kids. He describes handing over a large cheque to the Salvation Army as one of the most rewarding moments of his time with the Toy Run.

‘I grew up in a single mother family so I know how tough it can be at this time of year for people. Knowing that we have the ability to help so many children throughout the Hunter who are in need is an absolute rush. It’s why we keep doing what we are doing’

As Daryn looks to the future, he hopes to inspire his children and grandchildren to involve themselves. He is also looking to expand the awareness of the Toy Run and expand to be inclusive of other charities.

‘We are going to be making a lot more noise over the coming years.’

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