ACTION joins ACT convoy

By: Greg Bush, Photography by: Greg Bush

Almost 20 buses joined the Canberra Convoy for Cancer families this month

The nation’s capital played host to its biggest convoy ever when 18 buses joined the 450 trucks and 400 motorbikes gathered on the outer Canberra suburb of Beard, just across the border from Queanbeyan.

With hundreds of spectators lining the route, the convoy passed alongside Lake Burley Griffin en route to the suburb of Gungahlin for a day of festive fun and live music earlier this month.

In the three years since the Canberra Convoy for Cancer Families was resurrected, the event has grown in stature.

Melissa Gardner, CEO of the ACT Eden Monaro’s Own Cancer Support Group, was thrilled at the number of participants, and that the event had raised more than $200,000.

In addition to the convoy entry donations, spectators contributed another $7,600 through bucket collections at Gungahlin.

The majority of the 18 buses taking part in the convoy were ACT Government-owned Action buses, a big supporter of the Cancer Support Group.

"They donate the buses to us every year," she says. "A lot of the families that we support are on those buses."

Gardner explains that the ACT Eden Monaro’s Own convoy differs from similar events in that the funds raised goes towards cancer patients of all ages.

"One hundred percent goes back to the community and none gets used on wages, hence why we only three people in the office.

"So they know if they give us one dollar, a dollar goes back out. That’s the biggest thing with the support from the Canberra people; they know where their money’s going," Melissa says.

"I think everyone knows someone who has gone through or who has cancer, either survived it or passed away, so they put their hand up first."

As well as financial support from the local business community, the Canberra Convoy for Cancer Families receives a huge boost from Radio 104.7FM, and in particular the Scotty and Nige breakfast show.

At the Gungahlin grounds, the Monsters of Rock, containing members from Rose Tattoo and the Screaming Jets, performed live with special guest Angry Anderson up front.

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