The greatly anticipated annual i98FM Illawarra Convoy is the largest truck and motorbike convoy in the Southern Hemisphere, but due to current COVID-19 restrictions, the 2020 rendition will look very different.
Since 2005, the Illawarra Convoy has raised over $16 million for various charities. The 2020 event was due to be held on Sunday 15 November, however the convoy from Appin to Albion Park will not be able to go ahead, nor will the free family fun day at Shellharbour Airport.
Instead, with the backing of the WIN Network and i98FM, the event will be replaced with a television special airing on Sunday 15 November. “The special will feature historical Convoy footage, stories from the families, charities and hospitals Convoy has supported over the years, interviews with our donors and supporters, and the magical moments Convoy has provided over the years,” says Illawarra Convoy Founder Marty Haynes.
Illawarra Community Foundation Chairman Andrew Lancaster adds, “In an effort to minimise the spread of COVID-19, we feel this is the most socially responsible decision for everyone involved, and the Illawarra Community. We know everyone looks forward to Convoy each year, but the current restrictions mean getting together in large numbers for events just isn’t possible at the moment, and we join a long list of events that have had to change their approach this year. Although there is an alternative; you can celebrate Convoy this year with those close to you, from your own home, without the crowds.”
Fundraising activities including silent auctions, merchandise sales and raffles mean it is still possible to donate and help raise funds. The Illawarra Community Foundation is responsible for ensuring all funds raised by the event are distributed to charities and families in need
“COVID-19 has affected everyone in 2020,” says Illawarra Convoy manager Mark Rigby. “Unfortunately though, those patients affected by potentially life threatening medical conditions that Convoy supports, don’t get a year off because of COVID-19. Their treatment still goes on, and the support we provide will not be affected by the decision to replace the physical event with the television event. For this reason we are pushing on with our fundraising. We know many people and businesses have been affected by restrictions this year, and if all you can do this year is buy some Convoy merchandise or make a small donation we totally understand that.”
This will be the first time in its 16 year history that the truck and motorbike convoy and free family fun day won’t be able to go ahead as planned.
For more information or to purchase merchandise online, please click here.