Push­ing ute to­wards funds goal

The Tatura Guardian - - Local Classies - By Hay­den Thom­son

Two for­mer drug ad­dicts pushed a ute 50 km on the week­end to raise money for Teen Chal­lenge, a drug re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion cen­tre in Kyabram.

Si­mon Gil­boy and Mark Stokes are two suc­cess sto­ries of Teen Chal­lenge and have so far raised $10 000 for the cause.

‘‘We wanted to do some­thing dif­fi­cult be­cause chang­ing your life is dif­fi­cult,’’ Mr Stokes said.

Start­ing at 7.30 am Satur­day and fin­ish­ing about noon Sun­day, the two pushed the ute in 10 km blocks.

‘‘The last 5 km (on Satur­day) felt like we were push­ing up­hill . . . Si­mon was hal­lu­ci­nat­ing,’’ Mr Stokes said.

Be­liev­ing he was a num­ber of laps ahead of him­self, Mr Gil­boy said the chal­lenge was one of the tough­est things he had done.

‘‘That de­sire you have for drugs when you’re an ad­dict . . . the core of that is now be­ing used for good,’’ he said.

‘‘I’m so grate­ful for Mark . . . he’s helped me keep go­ing when I was re­ally strug­gling and just the con­ver­sa­tions we’re hav­ing as we push . . . that’s real life.’’

Mr Gil­boy works at Teen Chal­lenge as a per­sonal trainer and hopes to raise an am­bi­tious $250 000 to help ex­pand the fa­cil­i­ties at the cen­tre.

‘‘I’m try­ing to get new gym equip­ment . . . all of it is old do­nated stuff . . . and the gym is so use­ful for par­tic­i­pants in the pro­gram as a re­lease,’’ he said.

Both men spent an ex­tended pe­riod at the cen­tre in Kyabram, which re­quires par­tic­i­pants to at­tend for a min­i­mum of 12 months.

‘‘About half of the (25) beds are taken up at the mo­ment . . . so there is space if

bit of a peo­ple are Gil­boy said.

The fundrais­ing ef­forts con­tinue with a sim­i­lar event called Ute Push Re­lay Chal­lenge at Emer­ald Bank on Sun­day, Novem­ber 26.

‘‘It’s for cor­po­rates. We are try­ing to get 30 teams to­gether to push utes as far as pos­si­ble in

in­ter­ested,’’ Mr a two-hour pe­riod,’’ Mr Gil­boy said.

Huge ef­fort: Si­mon Gil­boy and Mark Stokes pushed a ute 50 km dur­ing the week­end, to raise money for a drug re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion fa­cil­ity in Kyabram.

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