This September saw lots of people jump on their bike to make a difference for sick kids.
Our team of road riders, led by CEO Ross Bingham, took on the challenge, riding over 500km from Inverell to Newcastle over five days. Travelling through many of the towns the families who use our services come from, we came across many people, whether it was the café providing lunch or the hotel the riders stayed at, that had a personal connection to the charity or knew someone who has been supported by RMHC.
“The charity really touches more people than you realise” said Simon File from Findex. “Every year I’ve been on the ride I’m moved by the support of the community. Those who get behind us riders and donate, and everyone who is involved, the sponsors and the community”.
Along the journey they took the opportunity to visit schools along the way, with a huge highlight being able to visit school's along with a daycare center one of our families child attends.
After five days and more than 540 kilometers the riders returned to Ronald McDonald House, Newcastle under sunny skies, a tail wind and with gratitude in their hearts.
“Every time we return to the House after the Ride, seeing the families that welcome us, their gratitude, and hearing the stories of the families that have had the support of Ronald McDonald House; while ever I can keep riding a bike, I’ll get on and keep coming back” said Bill Cox who has ridden in every Ride for Sick Kids since 2005 when the ride first began.
When the idea of doing a long distance charity bicycle ride was first put forward, it was never about the ride or the distance but always about helping keep families together and raising funds for Ronald McDonald House Charities Northern NSW.
“The bike is just the apparatus for us to raise money – it’s really all about the kids and the charity” said Ross Bingham.
The community has also joined in on the fun, with business like Newcastle and Hunter Community Health and their team jumping on their bikes to help fundraise. While some community members put the pedal to the metal, many others showed their support by purchasing a Ride for Sick Kids Helping Bike at McDonald’s restaurants across Northern NSW.
With the generous support of our event sponsors, founding mission partner and the community, more than $260,000 has been raised which is equal to 1,925 nights for families with a seriously ill child.
Thank you so much to all of our sponsors, riders and donors for supporting Ride for Sick Kids and keeping families together.