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Ride for Youth: Bathurst - Auction Night

Saturday, 28 August 2010

One group of recreational weekend cyclists have stepped up their training as they prepare to pedal more than 770 kilometres - all in the name of charity.

"There are 17 blokes who have changed their weekend routine from a short ride and a long coffee afterwards to a much longer ride and a seriously reduced coffee break to follow," event organiser Matt Leonard said.

The fundraiser will officially launch with a Charity Auction to be held on Saturday 28th August, tickets available from Tweed Sutherland First National.

Donated goods are also being accepted at Tweed Sutherland.

In late-2009, Matt and Poyser Motors dealer principal Adam Poyser were having a social catch-up when a dare to cycle to the NSW town of Bathurst for the annual V8 event turned into a fundraising project.

"Adam is obviously the ‘car' man and although I appreciate a fine motor vehicle, I also like to spend my spare time on my bike, joining hundreds of locals for a weekend ride around the district before disembarking back in Bendigo for a coffee," Matt said.

"Adam said that if I rode my bike to Bathurst he would give me $10,000 - which we both agreed would be better off being donated to a local not-for-profit organization.

"We have great respect and admiration for the work of St Luke's and knew that a donation given to St Luke's would not only go to the most needy, but that it would stay here, in our community," Matt said.

The event has taken on a life of its own with a total of 17 locals now participating - including Bendigo Advertiser Editor Peter Kennedy, local cycling legend Eddie Barkla, professional cyclist Zak Dempster and even St Luke's CEO David Pugh who has agreed to complete day one of the five day ride.

"St Luke's is thrilled to be the recipient of funds raised from St Luke's Ride for Youth," David said.

"To have such high profile community members participating in this ride from Bendigo to Bathurst is tremendous for our Agency and one in which we are pleased to be involved with.

Money raised from this venture will be directed towards St Luke's youth programs and in particular, the new Youth Connect facility on the corner of Hargreaves and Mundy Streets.

"Our programs are focused on encouraging positive engagement, providing timely support and providing pathways to education and employment," he said.

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