The Tour de Rocks committee rolled into Tamworth on Friday with a giant cheque and an even bigger challenge.
Chairperson Kay Endres and Director Pip White dropped into The Professionals office on Peel street with a cheque for $10,000 made out to the Tamworth branch of cancer charity, Canassist.
The Tour de Rocks is about to embark on it’s seventh annual ride from Armidale to South West Rocks in April, although are still handing out cheques all over the region from the 2017 ride.
Last year 320 riders took on the 240km ride over the Great Dividing Range to the coast, raising an incredible $245,000 along the way.
What started out as 12 riders on a school boys Duke of Edinburgh challenge in 2010 has now raised over $1.5 million.
“50 per cent of the money raised goes towards Tour de Cure research projects, while the other half goes to a variety of local charities, anywhere between Uralla and the coast,” Ms Endres said.
“We are completely run by volunteers so only three per cent of the money raised gets taken by administration costs, the rest goes to charities and to research.”
This is the first year that the Tamworth Can Assist branch has been awarded funds from the Tour de Rocks, although the money also came with a challenge for the local community.
“We want some Tamworth verse Armidale competition. We want some Tamworth riders to get on board and come with us in April on the next ride,” Ms Endres said.
“We don’t only need riders but we also need plenty of support crew as well that can help along the way.
“People can enter as teams or individuals, or we can put you in a team, although we would like to see a Tamworth team take us on.”
Can Assist’s Robyn Fitzgerald said that the $10,000 will go a long way towards helping local cancer sufferers in need of a helping hand.
“We pay any accounts or bills that they need – fuel, electricity, rates, anything we can help out with,” Ms Fitzgerald said.
“Getting donations like this is really important. Without them we wouldn’t be able to help local cancer patients.
In the last three and a half years the branch has raised $58,000 and assisted over 70 local cancer sufferers.