Hon­our­ing Matty with truck show

Big Rigs - - NEWS -

A GYMPIE re­gion fam­ily dev­as­tated by the loss of their sec­ond son, Matthew Blaik Hill­coat (or Matty as he was af­fec­tion­ately known) to SIDS at nearly four months old are com­mit­ted to rais­ing aware­ness for this heart-break­ing loss of life.

In its sec­ond year, the Matty Hill­coat’s Truck­ies Day Out will be held in hon­our of Matty, to raise aware­ness and funds to Stamp Out SIDS, at the Gympie Show­grounds on Oc­to­ber 6, the week­end an­niver­sary of Matty’s death.

“This will be a fan­tas­tic event for the whole fam­ily, and (the con­cept of a truck show) is re­ally a first of its kind in Gympie,” Matty’s mum and event or­gan­iser Kris­tine Hill­coat said.

“There will be plenty of va­ri­ety and we’re ex­cited this event will at­tract visi­tors from the sur­round­ing re­gion and parts of Queens­land, and give lo­cal res­i­dents an en­joy­able day out.

“The Truck­ies Day Out theme was an easy one for us, with truck driv­ing in the blood from both sides of the fam­ily and our sons are fourth gen­er­a­tion ‘mad keen’ truck en­thu­si­asts.”

The event boasts a range of truck and ute com­pe­ti­tions, trac­tor pull, chain­saw rac­ing, pig rac­ing, vin­tage ma­chin­ery dis­play, food stalls, kids en­ter­tain­ment, char­ity auc­tion and live en­ter­tain­ment by lo­cal band Big T and The Back­lin­ers.

There’s great prizes up for grabs for Rig of the Show and Ute of the Show, and more than 20 cat­e­gories for trucks to en­ter to win.

“We were over­whelmed with the sup­port we re­ceived last year, as our first year of host­ing the event,” Kris­tine said.

“We had al­most 70 trucks at­tend from all parts of Queens­land, and raised over $22,000 which was di­rected to­wards River’s Gift’s SIDS re­search ini­tia­tives.”

Dan and Kris­tine Hill­coat’s sec­ond son, Matty, was born on June 16, 2011, and from this time he was a happy lit­tle guy adored by ev­ery­one who met him.

Trag­i­cally, on Oc­to­ber 8, 2011, Matty passed away in his sleep with­out warn­ing.

In the search for an­swers dur­ing a time of grief and de­spair, the Hill­coats reached out to River’s Gift, a Gee­long based char­ity at the fore of world lead­ing SIDS re­search, and pro­vid­ing safe sleep ed­u­ca­tion.

“We’ve joined the River’s Gift Unite to SOS (Stamp Out SIDS) fam­ily and are rais­ing funds which will go to­wards a ge­net­ics SIDS re­search project re­cently started be­tween The Univer­sity of South Aus­tralia, Ade­laide Univer­sity and River’s Gift,” Kris­tine said.

“River’s Gift was es­tab­lished in 2011 by a fam­ily sim­i­larly dev­as­tated to ours after they lost their son, River, to SIDS.”

River’s Gift is the lead­ing source of fund­ing for SIDS re­search and Aus­tralia’s solely SIDS fo­cused char­ity, aim­ing to Stamp Out SIDS.

“Through their Unite to SOS pro­gram, River’s Gift has given us the in­spi­ra­tion, op­por­tu­nity and sup­port to hold an event that will not only hon­our Matty but help raise funds to find a cure,” River’s Gift gen­eral man­ager Karl Wad­dell said.

“River’s Gift’s pri­mary ob­jec­tive is to fund world-lead­ing SIDS re­search to make a tan­gi­ble con­tri­bu­tion to the dis­cov­ery of a cure for this heart-break­ing loss of life.”

SIDS is the sud­den un­ex­pected death of an in­fant un­der one year of age that can­not be ex­plained after a thor­ough in­ves­ti­ga­tion, in­clud­ing an au­topsy.

It is one of the lead­ing causes of death in in­fants be­tween one month and one year in Aus­tralia and the de­vel­oped world.

Matty Hill­coat’s Truckie’s Day Out will be held at the Gympie Show­grounds on Satur­day, Oc­to­ber 6, gates open at 10am, with ticket prices at $15 for adults, $10 for con­ces­sion hold­ers, and chil­dren un­der 12 are free.

More de­tails about River’s Gift at rivers­gift.com.

PHOTO: RENEE AL­BRECHT

FUNDRAIS­ING: The Hill­coat fam­ily (from left) Jim, Blaik and Char­lie with their par­ents Dan and Kris started the Matty Hill­coat’s Truck­ies Day Out.

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