Virtual Pub founders Craig Power and Brendon Williams at Junction Inn, Raymond Terrace
This Saturday, 15 December, Hunter hotels will join forces with The Virtual Pub - an online men’s mental health platform - to provide kids in regional hospitals with some overdue joy this Christmas season.
Virtual Pub co-founder Brendan Williams said the idea of holding a toy run with pick up points at hotels across the Hunter came as an extension of the group’s existing charitable initiatives such as ‘Beards of Hope,’ in support of pregnancy and infant loss.
“We’ve successfully run other fundraisers this year, including some at pubs, such as Beards of Hope and we really wanted to utilise the local support our online platform has created to make a difference both locally and regionally,” Mr Williams said.
The inaugural toy run will begin at 9.30am Saturday, stopping first at Junction Inn, Raymond Terrace before moving on to The Stag and Hunter Hotel - Mayfield, Queens Wharf Hotel - Newcastle, Hotel Jesmond – Jesmond, The George Tavern – Green Hills, The Bradford Hotel – Rutherford, Royal Federal Hotel – Branxton and finishing at The Imperial Hotel – Singleton at 7.30pm.
“It’s going to be a massive day and we want to invite people to come along to these venues, drop off their donations to us, have the chance to say hello, maybe grab a drink and see what this is all about,” Mr Williams said.
Items on the toy run wish list include small plush toys, books, small dolls, Lego, matchbox cars, simple games like UNO, gift cards for older children and model planes or cars.
George Tavern hotelier Janine Redman said the support of so many hotels was a good example of the industry providing a fantastic platform to help those in need of a hand.
“The Virtual Pub has created this toy run and these toys are going to some wonderful kids who are doing it tough at the moment in hospital,” Ms Redman said.
“We’ve had some great support already with locals dropping off donations, while the hotel has also contributed a lovely selection of gifts and toys.”
Pick up times are as follows:
9.30am – Junction Inn, Raymond Terrace
11am – Stag and Hunter, Mayfield
12.30pm – Queens Wharf Hotel, Newcastle
2.00pm – Hotel Jesmond, Jesmond
3.30pm – The George Tavern, Green Hills
4.45pm – The Bradford Hotel, Rutherford
6.00pm – Royal Federal Hotel, Branxton
7.30pm – Imperial Hotel, Singleton