One of the most precious commodities in life are our children. Interesting, funny, rewarding, at times irritating, children bring so much joy but also pose many challenges to parents, often times in ways that the brochures didn’t explain. When our children fall ill, it can be one of the most critical times to get things done right, and with the help of organisations like ‘Convoy for Kids,’ Australian children continue to remain in good hands.
This year, ‘Convoy for Kids,’ a vehicle convoy raising money for sick kids, is celebrating its 25th year in operation. Since 1992, the convoy has been making the trip on major Sydney highways, raising money to help sick kids in anyway they can. In it’s quarter of a century history, over two million dollars has been raised, an incredible effort.
A few of the programs the organisation support are NETS (Neonatal and Paediatric Emergency Transport Service) and Telstra ChildFlight, which both assist in getting children the best care available via transport to bigger, more equipped hospitals in the cases that this is required.
The costs involved in these programs are numerous, and it is the work of tremendously generous organisations like Convoy for Kids that keep these vital resources up and running.
Some of the other vital ways that the money raised has been used include; in 1994, 900 trucks raised $72,000, which went towards a parent’s waiting room at New Children’s hospital, Westmead. In 2003, 937 trucks raised $80,000 for the Surgical Department at the Children’s Hospital, Westmead, and in 2014, Convoy for Kids fully equipped a new Ambulance. Additionally, there are numerous examples of money being contributed to the purchase of equipment for the NRMA CareFlight Medical Retrieval Helicopter.
This year, the event takes place on Sunday, September 25, with vehicles assembling at the crack of dawn, leaving Huntingwood Drive, Huntingwood at 8am sharp. The route is down the Great Western Highway, Wallgrove Road, M4 Freeway, before heading onto Homebush bay drive and into Olympic Boulevard, Sydney Olympic Park. With hundreds of different sized trucks, 4WD’s, buses and motorbikes set to take part, it is a spectacle that needs to witnessed first hand.
Liz Morrow, executive committee member, said that the team are hoping for a big turn out of vehicles this year, and thanks everyone that continues to support the cause.
“This year we are hoping for 900 trucks. We do have some interstate and intrastate trucks joining the convoy. On behalf of the committee I’d like to thank all the financial supporters, and also the police, RMS and councils for letting the event take place.” She continued.
“A real bonus this year for those who do not have a truck, Avid Travel, who are one of our sponsors, will be running coaches on the day. They will be travelling with the Convoy then breaking away to travel along side it, meaning everyone on board can be part of the experience. The coaches depart from Penrith Panthers and St Mary’s RSL, and returning there at the end of the day. The cost is $15 per person and bookings can be made direct to Avid on 0406 214 201 or for any other queries can me on 0414 270 531.”
The spectacle and fundraising doesn’t end there. Once the movement hits Sydney Olympic Park, a day full of family fun begins. The team at Convoy for Kids will put on a jumping castle, face painting, BBQ, truck viewing and entertainment, with country music sensation Amber Lawrence set to perform.