Truck­ies at­tract the crowds

The Tribune (NZ) - - FRONT PAGE - RICHARD MAYS

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.

PHOTO: DAVID UN­WIN/FAIRFAX NZ

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.

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