Pair off to Queenstown – on just $10
Ten dollars is barely enough to buy a decent lunch, let alone get two people from Auckland to Queenstown.
But it’s all the cash Matt Ritchie and Seamus O’Loan are allowed to spend when they take on the $10 Auckland to Queenstown Challenge in October.
The pair are raising funds for Cure Kids, with Suburban Newspapers, publishers of this newspaper, donating $1000 towards the entry fee.
“It’s taken a lot of the pressure off our shoulders,” Matt, 32, says.
The former Auckland City Harbour News sales representative says the threeday challenge is a great way to have some fun and raise money for a great cause.
“I’ve heard stories from friends who have done it before and said it was an absolute scream.
“As soon as we started, people began donating. Some people I haven’t heard from since high school.”
They have used a number of methods to raise funds so far, from traditional word of mouth to internet social networking sites like Facebook.
With the financial restrictions they face during the challenge, hitchhiking is one of the main ways Matt and Seamus plan to get around.
Matt, who has hitchhiked around the North and South islands several times before, is prepared for the challenges they will face.
“We had one ride where an army general from Wellington took us to Waiouru.
“There was a thermostat where we could see the temperature outside going down from six to five then to four and ended up at minus one.
“We were standing under a tree with three jumpers, two pairs of jeans and socks on our hands.”
But policeman Seamus, 28, a constable at the Avondale station, says they may be able to call on a ride or two from his colleagues around the country if they are heading south.
“As long as we’re not taking a ride to the station for doing something wrong, we’ll be fine,” he says.
As for what the duo will wear during the race, the company or person who donates the most money will get to decide on that.
“I’m happy to wear salmon,” Matt says. “Personally I’d like to see Seamus in a dress and heels.”
Along with picking up rides Matt and Seamus will have to complete Amazing Race-style challenges.
They also plan on organising quiz nights and auctions to increase their tally, which sits at more than $2600.
Suburban Newspapers general manager David Penny says the company is proud to support such a worthy cause.
“It’s great to see Matthew and Seamus continuing the support that Suburban Newspapers has given over the years. Charities such as Cure Kids assist many families in our community, and being their local newspaper publisher it’s only fitting that we support them in this venture.
“I look forward to seeing other businesses sponsor them, and will follow their progress over the challenge,” he says.
To support them visit www.fundraiseonline.co.nz/ MatthewRitchie.
Queenstown bound: Matt Ritchie, left, and Seamus O’Loan are heading south for the $10 Auckland to Queenstown Challenge in October.