A red letter day today. Thanks to Bill K of Canberra – and everyone else who has donated of course – I have now made my minimum $2,500 in donations. And not before time too with the official start in Tenterfield now only 31 days away. That’s right, 31 and I will be counting down every single day until then!
The overall total for the team on Everyday Hero is currently at $68,816 with offline fundraising probably not far off that amount either. The overall target of at least $150,000 raised looks more than achievable, a huge outcome!
Another post or two will be made available in the coming days as the work I have been doing on my Yamaha Road Star has now been completed also. It’s a different looking bike to a few months ago that’s for sure.
Two fantastic things happened overnight in regards to fundraising for the Steven Walter Foundation.
The first is thanks to Renny and Karyn of Canberra – and all others who have donated – I have cracked the $1,000 mark on Everyday Hero. This means I’m over a third of the way to the minimum goal of $2,500 with six months still to go.
And the second is that the same donation – plus all the other wonderful people who have donated – has taken the Ride Around Australia Everyday Hero “Team“ over the $10,000 mark to a total of $10,230!
There’s no doubt more has been raised externally to Everyday Hero, but it is wonderful to see that number up there for the world to see.
I keep saying what a great adventure and experience the Ride Around Australia trip is going to be, but of course there is a serious side to why we’re doing this.
Neuroblastoma, a rare and aggressive disease, is responsible for around 15% of cancer related deaths in children. Sienna Hoffmann was diagnosed with this cancer in March 2008 and despite intense treatments she relapsed twice. According to an article at the Sydney Morning Herald published in January 2010 doctors have given Sienna less than six months to live.
Sadly, the Steven Walter Foundation advises that Sienna has since passed away after the article was published. It’s stories like Sienna’s that make the Steven Walter Foundation even more determined towards achieving the goal of curing 100% of children with cancer. It also brings home to me the seriousness behind what we are are doing and how important it is to be raising money towards the Children’s Cancer Institute Australia (CCIA). I only hope I have the strength to carry the weight of these small and beautiful angels with me around Australia on my motorbike.
A gala dinner will be held at the Kirribilli Club on March 18 2010 to raise awareness and funding for neuroblastoma with all proceeds going to the Children’s Cancer Institute Australia. Contact details are available at the bottom of the SMH article.
I came home today to find a big update from the Steven Walter Foundation waiting in the mailbox. I couldn’t wait to get it open and was surprised by the amount of work that has happened in the last month! There was quite a bit of information but to hit on the highlights:
The itinerary has changed with a start in Tenterfield instead of Ballina. This is mainly due to that weekend in October being school holidays and accommodation being difficult to source – not to mention expensive – in Ballina.
We now have accomodation costs to approve from Bundaberg around to Perth (rest to come soon). I was pleased to find the amounts aren’t as bad as I was expecting with the average overnight stay around $100 although there is a couple $200 nights in some of the remoter areas.
There are 77 people going on the ride – a little over 50 bikes and the rest pillions.
Fuel and rest stops are mapped out at a maximum 200km through the entire trip. With such long distances regular breaks to stretch and rehydrate will be of the utmost importance
This is all really starting to come together and I can’t believe how excited I’m getting about the trip, it’s going to be such an adventure. I would also like to say a HUGE thank you to Allan McGuirk and Susan Walter of the Steven Walter Foundation for the unbelievable amount of effort they are going through in organising this trip. Truly a herculean effort!
Some great news recently as we receive more information from the Steven Walter Foundation. In our forum where participants of the ride can discuss ideas for the upcoming trip someone asked about support vehicles. This is what Allan from SWF had to say:
At this point we have five support vehicles and this should not change we hope. Four of the vehicles will be able to transport at least one bike and a passenger, each vehicle will have a rider on board with gear to ride if necessary.
We have at this stage – two mechanics, one doctor, and one paramedic (they are just along because they want to be involved) the others are all experienced at something (we hope). We will have one vehicle set up with generator (thanks to Honda) and a compressor and some general bits and pieces including a comprehensive tool kit. We will also look at taking some second hand tyres to fit most bikes just in case, if you have a one off that might present a problem.
Now this is great news and has certainly gone a good way to helping ease my understanding wife’s concerns about being on the road for so long. To know there is help in front, in the middle and from behind takes the weight off my own mind as well.
Fundraising is always one of those interesting topics, in particular how to receive donations and make sure everything is hunky-dory for tax purposes. In a recent update from the Steven Walter Foundation we have been advised they support the use of a site called Everyday Hero. Now I’m slightly familiar with the site as a colleague at work uses it each year for his City to Surf fundraising. Essentially you create an account, nominate the charity you want the donations to go to, and then start spreading the word.
What makes this site valuable to someone like me is that people can make donations directly to the Steven Walter Foundation without me needing to handle money and issue receipts. People who donate via the site receive an email with everything they need for tax time, quickly, easily and securely. It will also allow me to track how much fundraising I have done and how far I need to go.
But there’s more! They also have a Team Page ability where a person can setup a Team and have other people join. What this does is allows a Team total to be tracked as well as individual totals. So with blessings from the Steven Walter Foundation I created a Team page as well as my own page. We’ll see how this works out over time but it certainly looks like a great way to go.
Edit: the links to EveryDay Hero are no longer working as the ride is over, however I raised in excess of $3,000
Holy cow! We’ve received an updated recently and the final numbers are in – 50 bikes! That’s right, you need to count every one, 50! Plus some 10 pillions or so! And that’s not all; it looks like the Steven Walter Foundation is going to have us doing the trip as one group. That is awesome! I was hoping we would be able to do the journey together instead of being split into two groups with a day’s lag time between start and finishes.
This doesn’t mean we’re going to be riding as one big group, that would be a bit unwieldy especially as fatigue will start setting in after a week or two into the ride. No what it will mean is that we’ll all be setting off on each leg on the same day. Riders will be free to ride at their own pace so I can be out in front if I get an early start, or somewhere in the middle if I want to linger over breakfast, or maybe bring up the rear if I want a bit of a sleep in.
What I think it will be is a logistical nightmare for the organisers; I mean talk about herding cats when you’re trying to get 50 bikes on the road. But I’m sure they will be up to the task and remember this is the same group responsible for the Snowy Ride each year so they have a good amount of experience in project management (good luck all the same!).
All of a sudden the trip has gotten a little more real, but let me back up a little.
In 2008 I went on my first Snowy Ride for the Steven Walter Foundation (SWF) and had a great time. Early in 2009 I received some information in the mail from SWF talking about expressions of interest for a ride around Australia in 2010. Certainly sounded interesting but at the time I dismissed it as un-doable.
However despite thinking I had decided not to do the trip, the idea was always in the back of my mind, percolating away. Seriously, what a great adventure it would be; although getting around this country on a motorbike is usually one of those things on the list to do one day like owning a Ferrari, or catching one of Branson’s space flights…
Then around the middle of 2009 another update appeared and suddenly I find myself considering the trip in earnest: got the bike, got the time off available, got the funds – why the hell not?
So after many discussions with my very understanding wife – and nights of pouring over Google Maps to see what kind of trip it would look like – I bit the bullet this morning and transferred my deposit (registration fee) to SWF. I still have until the end of November 2009 to back out and get my deposit back, but I don’t think that is going to happen. I will be riding around Australia.