The trucking industry has raised a record $2,850,000 for charity through the Illawarra Convoy.
The convoy, which took place on November 19, saw 779 trucks and 633 motorbikes travel 70km from Illawarra Coal’s West Cliff Colliery at Appin, through the streets of the Illawarra, to finish up at the Shellharbour Airport.
Huge crowds turned out for the annual family fun day at the airport, with approximately 17,000 people in attendance throughout the event.
Highlights included performances from Ricki-Lee & Thirsty Merc, supported by local artists The Goat featuring Tim Stevens, Kate Young Angie Childs and friends, The Vandastruts, Altered States and Polly Hazelton.
Other entertainment on the day included Kye’s FMX Jam motocross, Cars For Convoy, Little Big Rigs and plenty of rides for the kids.
Menai Haulage led the convoy, securing the coveted spot with a winning bid of $300,001, the highest amount bid across both trucks and bikes this year.
As he did last year, young Nate Deushain, who is battling leukaemia, rode up front with the best seat in the house.
Tiny Tins & Wollongong Crane Trucks contributed $261,000, followed by the RMK Group at $100,000.
Best Sheds & Wollongong Car Carriers were next up at $84,000 and Murrell Freight Lines at $80,000, with another 45 groups also contributing to the lead truck pack.
Convoy manager Mark Rigby said: “For our fundraising teams and businesses to achieve such successful results, with interest rates and the cost of living rising, is simply incredible.
“Many of these teams have held fundraising events right through the year to achieve these results.
“We’ve seen some great new fundraising events this year like First Choice Earthworks’ Ferret Race, Tiny Tins & Wollongong Crane Trucks’s ‘Battle of The Businesses’ boxing event, and NGIL’s inaugural Golf Day, and every year the list of events raising funds for Convoy continues to grow.”
All of the funds raised in this year’s event will go to the Illawarra Community Foundation, who will distribute funds to local charities and families who are facing life-threatening and life-limiting illness. Submissions for funding can be made at the Convoy website www.illawarraconvoy.com.au
This year’s effort brings the total funds raised by the convoy to just over 25 million dollars since the event’s inception in 2005.