Inspiring fundraisers ride 800km for kids with cancer

WELCOME: Members of the Muswellbrook Lioness Club greet the Tour de Hunter crew at the Muswellbrook PCYC on Thursday afternoon.
WELCOME: Members of the Muswellbrook Lioness Club greet the Tour de Hunter crew at the Muswellbrook PCYC on Thursday afternoon.

MORE than 30 cyclists and 20 support crew are using pedal power to inspire residents throughout the region.

The Tour de Hunter crew jumped on their bikes at the weekend for Camp Quality’s annual Bike Ride for Kids.

And, on Thursday, the participants arrived in Muswellbrook – to be greeted by the Muswellbrook Lioness Club, who provided lunch at the Muswellbrook PCYC, and a chance to recharge the batteries with dinner and “fun therapy” at The Railway Hotel.

The riders, who are embarking on an epic 800km ride, started from Speers Point Park last Sunday and will visit Dungog, Pacific Palms, Gloucester, Gresford, Muswellbrook, Merriwa and Singleton before crossing the finish line at Warners Bay.

They’ll depart Muswellbrook on Friday morning; and enjoy breakfast from the Aberdeen Lions Club at Rose Garden Park.

The crew then drops into Scone Public School, along with the Camp Quality Primary School Education Program, before a lunch break at the Bunnan Rest Area.

The route will take them to Merriwa Central School on Friday; and an overnight stay at The Royal Hotel that evening.

The cyclists venture to Singleton on Saturday, wrapping up their journey at Warners Bay the next morning.

Father Scott Sam, whose daughter Hannah (14) was supported by Camp Quality at the age of four through her diagnosis with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia, has participated in the Newcastle 1000 K’s Ride since its inception in 2011.

“For a dad, hearing your child has cancer is the most devastating news,” he said.

“It’s something that no family should have to go through without support.

“Camp Quality was there for us.”

Rider Simon Morris, on his first ride this year, knows the value of Camp Quality from the other perspective.

He was a child with cancer supported by the children’s cancer charity.

“I am so happy to be able to give back to an organisation that gave me so much when I needed it most,” Morris said.

“This year I bought a bike, learned to ride and am thrilled to report I have already raised $17,000.”

Newcastle fundraising specialist Donna George said the ride had a big impact every year and 2016 was shaping up to be bigger than ever.

“In 2015 our dedicated riders raised $411,000.00 throughout the year,” she said.

“That’s enough to support 450 families living with cancer by providing essential programs and services.

“Our fabulous support crew are also a vital part of the ride.

“They provide medical and mechanical advice, sports massages and Camp Quality’s signature ‘fun therapy’ to motivate and energise cyclists.”