The inaugural Fred Hollows Ride to Bourke on the Australia Day weekend was so successful it will help fund sight-restoring operations for a “jumbo jet full of people”.
Organisers, Mike and Denise Ferris from World on Wheels (WOW) motorcycle travel company says 30 riders and pillions raised $13,165.
The money goes to the Fred Hollows Foundation which raises funds for 20-minute sight-restoring operations that cost as little as $25 each.
“That means that a jumbo jet full of people who are currently blind will be able to see,” says Denise.
“Fifty percent of funds donated go towards helping indigenous Australians and 50% towards people, families and communities in Laos.”
They say the ride was such a success, it will become an annual event find more information.
Riders head to Bourke
Riders set off from Queensland, NSW, Victoria and South Australia to meet in Bourke, Fred’s hometown, where they were met by the Mayor.
“The inaugural ride was a great success, thoroughly enjoyed by all who braved the rain, the cold and the heat to ride to Bourke and back,” Denise says.
“We were so warmly welcomed by the community of Bourke. The Mayor Barry Hollman and GM of Bourke Council both turned out to welcome all the riders in and then joined us again at The Ride dinner to present the awards. We can’t wait for next year!”
The ride concluded on Saturday with an early morning ride out to the Fred Hollows rock (nine tonnes of specially sculpted granite carved as Fred’s tombstone in the local Bourke cemetery), before riders dispersed and headed for home.
Incentive prizes were provided by sponsors including a $100 gift voucher for the new Motorbike Writer online shop. The prize was won by Peter and Liz Waggott from Ballina.
WOW conduct nine motorcycle tours a year on four continents, often in countries where people do not have access to advanced medical services.
“So for such a small amount of money, to be able to support a simple, short sight-restoring operation and give the gift of sight to some is just – WOW! – life changing for them and also for their families and the communities in which they live,” Denise says.
“In many remote villages and places this means the person whose sight is restored can then be a full participant socially and economically which can take them from being dependent on their family for support to being a contributing member.”
Put a date claimer now on the 2018 Australia Day weekend and take a ride to Bourke to make a difference!