Armidale residents and businesses are encouraged to rally behind the annual Hadley’s Ride for Sick Kids Charity Bike Ride, which will kick off in Armidale this August.
The Ride aims to raise much needed funds for Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) and Ronald McDonald Houses (RMH) in the region.
The Ride for Sick Kids involves an epic five-day cycle journey throughout Northern NSW. Beginning on Tuesday 30 August in Armidale, volunteer riders, including McDonald’s Licensees, will conclude their journey in Newcastle on Saturday 3 September. Every dollar secured along the way will count towards making a difference in the lives of seriously ill children and their families, who rely on the services provided by RMHC and the Houses.
Now in its seventh year, the Ride has raised over one million dollars for Ronald McDonald Houses in the Hunter and Tamworth. This year, Ride for Sick Kids supporters hope to better last year’s fundraising total of $376,200 through the generosity of Armidale businesses and residents.
“Ronald McDonald Houses in the Hunter and Tamworth rely solely on donations to operate. We’re looking to rally more support than ever across the Armidale community, and with a number of exciting fundraising initiatives coinciding with the Ride, we’re confident we can reach record totals in 2011 for this worthwhile cause,” said Troy Johnson, McDonald’s Armidale Licensee and organiser of the Ride for Sick Kids fundraiser event in Armidale.
Residents looking to get involved are invited to buy tickets for The Ride for Sick Kids Fundraiser, a cocktail event to be held at the New England Regional Art Museum (NERAM) on Monday 29 August. Over the course of the evening, canapés and drinks will be served, alongside the opportunity to bid on great auction items. Ride for Sick Kids bike riders and support staff will also be in attendance, representing a chance for well-wishers to send their messages of support to participants before they head off on the ride the next day.
Local sponsor, Steve Sewell from Invest Blue incorporating the AMP Foundation, will be attending the fundraiser and will present a very generous $10,000 donation to the Ride for Sick Kids.
“Our heart goes out to children and families living with serious illness at Ronald McDonald House, and we’re proud to support this wonderful fundraising initiative for the second year in a row. Unwell children and their families from Armidale utilise the Ronald McDonald House in Tamworth, so it’s important for people in our community to get behind this great cause,” said Steve.
Armidale locals interested to assist the Ride in other ways are invited to bid on the chance to own a piece of World Cup history. Kindly donated by Coca-Cola, the soccer ball from Australia’s World Cup game vs. Serbia on June 2010 will be listed on eBay. This amazing piece of memorabilia will be available for sale from Monday 29 August throughout the week of Ride for Sick Kids.
One event already well on target to contributing towards the Ride for Sick Kids fundraiser is the NSW Parliament House Luncheon. Held for its second year on Thursday 11 August, the lunch promises fine wine and dining against the backdrop of the exclusive NSW Parliament House Speaker’s Dining Room. With the $1,000 a head tickets already at a near sell-out, Richard Torbay, former speaker of the house and Member for Northern Tablelands, foresees that almost $25,000 has been raised towards Ride for Sick Kids.
“We’re thrilled with the amount of money already raised through this luncheon for the Charity Bike Ride. The Ronald McDonald House program is an absolute blessing for country communities – providing a home away from home for seriously ill children and their families,” said Richard.
The Armidale community is urged to follow the lead of those who have already generously contributed their time and services towards Ride for Sick Kids. From attending fundraising events, donating or bidding on auction items, to sponsoring the riders, every contribution will ensure that RMHC and the Houses can continue to offer their invaluable services and support to families in need.
Tickets for the Ride for Sick Kids cocktail fundraiser cost $50 per head, with all proceeds going toward helping RMHC and Ronald McDonald Houses support even more families with sick kids.