Thankfully, after the recent persistent wet spell, the weather on Sunday morning was a crisp but bright day, and what better way to start the day than to fire up your scooter or motorcycle and descend on McDonalds car park, Edge Lane, Liverpool in support of the annual Christmas Selection Box Rideout to Alder Hey hospital.
Geoff Bell of St Nicholas Lodge No 3620 has been attending this annual procession for more than 10 years and it was his first time at the helm as it were in organising the Christmas ride-out. Having successfully organised a similar event at Easter but that time for an Easter Egg appeal. Arriving in the afternoon, he was met by several fantastic painted scooters, trikes, motorcycles and riders resplendent in Santa suits, elf uniforms and all manner of Christmas decorations.
The aim of the ride-out is to support the wonderful work that Alder Hey Children’s Hospital provides to the local community and the country. Riders and supporters are encouraged to bring selection boxes and toys for the children, who may unfortunately have to stay within the hospital over the festive period. Geoff was also on hand with his brightly coloured Santa hat and more importantly, his collection bucket so donations could be accepted as well.
Mike Fox from Adelphi Lodge No 6819 was on hand to take pictures, and Roy Williams of Harmonic Lodge No 216, who was about to start a Blood Bike shift were also in attendance on their bikes. Having met the bike marshals and other blood bikers who would later provide an escort for the procession, a loud horn announced the start of the procession and the bikes, scooters, trikes and escort vehicles all fired up and with a cacophony of exhausts, horns, waves and smiles began their journey from Edge Lane to Alder Hey.
The procession took a winding route to Alder Hey, and with the bike marshals expertly stopping the traffic and allowing the ride to continue unhindered the procession steadily made its way to the hospital, with passing members of the public waving and showing their support for the ride-out. With well over 100 participants riding, eventually the bikes, trikes, scooters and vehicles all arrived at Alder Hey, making their way to the front entrance, made quite a commotion to the delight of the many children who were gathered there.
Several tall cages were on hand for the many selection boxes and toys that were donated, and so many were given that three tall cages were needed to accept them all. Helen from the fundraising team thanked everyone for their wonderful donations and support of the hospital and the children.
Afterwards the riders and supporters were invited back to the Alder Club, Liverpool for some soup and hot drinks, where a raffle was held to raise further funds, Geoff estimates that around £1,100 of selection boxes, toys and donations were given in total an amazing sum in support of Alder Hey Children’s hospital and we’re all looking forward to the next ride-out in the Easter of next year.