250km. 10 Hours. 1 Reason – That was the task ahead of Aligned Leisure’s Head of Fitness and Community Programming, Jarrod Simmons when he brought to life the first annual Ride for Reason fundraiser on Thursday 25 May 2023. Spoiler alert – He smashed his 250km target and the fundraising goal of $10k.
The vision behind Ride for Reason was simple – to create an event to raise much needed awareness and funds for organisations supporting our community in their greatest moments of need. For this inaugural event Cancer Council was nominated as the recipient of all funds raised – An organisation focused on reducing the physical, emotional and financial burden of cancer on the lives of all Australians in the fight towards a cancer free future for all.
The motivation behind creating something like this was very personal for me, with my own Father diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer in early 2020. Fortunately, with thanks to the medical care, research and support provided to him and our family throughout, Dad’s journey had a positive end – but there are so many stories that devastatingly don’t and I wanted to do something to help change that.
Jarrod Simmons, Head of Fitness & Community Programming, Mildura
Hosted in the Mildura Waves Aquatic and Leisure Centre entranceway, the ride kicked off at 7am to the cheers of many who had turned out to wish Jarrod all the best on his journey, and throughout the day over 25 individual riders jumped on and off support bikes to ride with him – offering encouragement and a welcome distraction as the hours wore on.
With muscle soreness and fatigue building up, so too did the hype around the centre with a host of other activities taking place all with one goal – to raise awareness and vital funds for Cancer Council. Delicious coffee and a selection of tasty treats were enjoyed by over 50 people who turned out for the Biggest Morning Tea hosted alongside the riding area, with raffle ticket and specialty chocolate sales, a silent auction and collection tins keeping the event team busy as they were overwhelmed by the generosity and support being shown right up until the final minute was cycled.
Surrounded by family, friends, Mildura Waves members and the community, Jarrod hit the magic 10 hour mark in the early evening with the release of confetti, a huge round of applause and a few tears to signify the official end of his gruelling ride – stopping the odometer at an impressive 264.11km – but the enormity of Jarrod’s efforts didn’t stop there with the fundraising tally currently standing at just over $15,000.
“What we’ve accomplished from our first-year event hasn’t fully sunk in yet – right now I’m just blown away by the amount of support I’ve received from the community. What started as an idea during a 2am feed with my newborn has grown to a size and scale beyond anything I thought possible for our first event. I couldn’t be more grateful to everyone who supported me, whether it be through donations, sponsorship, riding alongside me on the day or giving positive words of encouragement and well wishes. It truly means the world – thank you!”
The Ride for Reason wish to acknowledge the following individuals and sponsors for helping to bring to life this year’s event:
- HQ2 Food and Beverage Solutions
- Southern Cross Business Advisors
- CVGT Employment
- Riordan’s Paint & Panel
- Sunraysia Radiology
- Simmons The Sandman
- Davison Motors
- Aligned Leisure
- AVL Wines
- Frutex Australia
- Australian Premium Dried Fruits
- Stride Media
- Sunnyland Press
- Sunraysia Daily
- Christie Centre
- Pizza Café
- Mildura Waves Member – Annmaree
- Mildura Waves Café
Silent Auction Prize:
- Richmond Football Club / Aligned Leisure
Event Volunteers | For the countless hours put in to setting up and making sure everything ran smoothly on the day, thank you!
- Andrea Brown
- Amy McGaffin
- Bradley Fox
- Courtney Russel
- Erynn Martin
- Jess Moorhead
- Lily Milsom
- Steff Schoen
- Eric and the Team at Chemist Warehouse
- Jo and the Team at Mildura Visitor Information Centre
- Damion and Dave at River 1467
When was your last check?
Did you know that one third of all cancer diagnosed in Australia is preventable? Making healthy lifestyle choices, getting regular checks and early detection are all vital in the fight against cancer.
It’s not too late to donate:
Donate directly to the Ride for Reason fundraising page at https://fundraising.cancervic.org.au/fundraisers/RideForReason/ride-for-reason
Thanks to cancer research, more people are surviving cancer every year – all donations, big or small, put as one step closer to a cancer free future for all.