FIFTEEN cyclists have earned a well earned rest after a 538 kilometre marathon from Grafton to Newcastle to raise money for sick kids.
‘’The Ride for Sick Kids” riders took a few hours break in Tea Gardens and Hawks Nest last Friday after being on the road for 4 solid days travelling from through to Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie and Forster.
The fund raising marathon is now in it’s twelth year and in that time has raised $2.6 million benefitting Ronald McDonald Houses and family rooms in Newcastle, Gosford, Forster and Tamworth.
Ronald McDonald Northern NSW CEO Ross Bingham, has ridden in all 12 marathons.
“It’s a team effort, wherever we go people stop and donate,” Mr Bingham told the News Of The Area.
“It’s a huge logistical operation, we have support truck big enough to take all our bikes and us when we have to avoid road works, we also have a number of support cars,” he said.
“We’ll start working on next year’s event, pretty much after we finish this one.”
This year, the ride hopes to raise over $300,000.
“The money that we raise is significant and makes a huge difference to our programs and what we can do for children and their families,” Mr Bingham said.
Ride organiser, Jody McLucas travelled as support crew for the cyclists.
“No matter where we stopped, someone would come up to us with a story about themselves or a friend or loved one who’d benefited from the Ronald McDonald Houses,” she said.
After a lunch in Tea Gardens it was time to board the ferry and a more relaxing ride to Nelson Bay, before heading to Newcastle and a celebration lunch with family and friends at the John Hunter Hospital on Saturday.
First National Real Estate at Hawks Nest was also an official sponsor.
Anyone wishing to show their support can donate at rideforsickkids.org.
To find out more about Ronald McDonald House Charities, visit rmhc.org.au
By Margie TIERNEY