Truckies attract the crowds
Underway with a Hato Paoro College haka, a huge happy family fun day erupted from the Railway Land on Sunday, spilling out onto surrounding city streets for the Professionals’ Big Rig Day.
Organisers supported by about 100 volunteers, were blown away by the response as good-natured crowds queued patiently to ride a rig for $2 a time in support of the non-government funded Child Cancer Foundation.
One of the coordinators, Derryn Hughes says they were initially expecting around 70 trucks for the biennial community fundraiser.
‘‘But the drivers just kept coming . . .we even had a driver there from Marlborough who was up here, heard about the event and turned up on the day to help out.’’
Derryn says 120 drivers’ packs were prepared for the convoy and joy-ride session, but after the crowds had dispersed there were only ten left, with the organisers full of gratitude to the truckies who took part.
‘‘These guys gave up their time, fuel, and polished their trucks for this event; they are our unsung heros – without them there is no Professionals’ Big Rigs.’’
Due to the ebb and flow of the six-hour event, it was difficult to gauge the numbers of people who attended.
‘‘There were no lulls – it was just crazy-cool concentrated throughout the day. There could have been between 10,000 and 12,000. But we do know we have exceeded $40,000 for the day.’’
That’s with totals from Lions Club raffles and food stalls still yet to be reconciled.
‘‘The auctions raised over $9500 with the All Blacks jersey selling locally for $4000.
‘‘There was a lot of interest in the Liverpool football shirt. It sold over the phone to a buyer from Auckland for $500.’’
The Harvard flight went for $450, while art work by CCF ambassadors Tiana Gray (5) and Sophia Prentice (3) fetched $170 each.
The 2014 event raised $30,000. This time there was more children’s entertainment, with the Defence Force and Fire Service among those providing vehicle displays.
Derryn (027 579 3900) and Big Rigs secretary Rachel Clark (021 173 2575) say they are still accepting CCF donations.
Ready to ride the rigs, patiently waiting families at the business end of one of the Railway Land queues during Sunday’s fundraiser for the Child Cancer Foundation.