For a motorbike enthusiast and some members of the public there’s nothing better than hearing the roar of a Harley-Davidson engine, except the roar of 400 of them, fundraising for a good cause.
Hawke’s Bay Harley Club president Mark White will be taking off on a “secret route” on his Harley Street glide on September 28, with a few hundred fellow bike enthusiasts for “The Hawke’s Bay Harley Spring Run”, to fundraise for The Acorn Project.
The Acorn Project Hawke’s Bay provides support services for young cancer sufferers aged between 12 and 24 and was formed following the restructure of CanTeen NZ in December 2018.
It was awarded registered charity status on May 10 and currently has more than 60 members.
White said they had been supporting CanTeen in Hawke’s Bay for 10 to 12 years, and its re-structure provided a natural segue way to support The Acorn Project.
“A lot of the kids have been with us for the past 10 to 12 years, we have supported them over those years.
“So when CanTeen had the restructure we decided to get in behind Kerrie Waby with the local initiative [The Acorn Project], who until December 2018 was the youth support co-ordinator for CanTeen Hawke’s Bay branch.”
The Hawke’s Bay Harley Spring Run will be “quite a spectacle”, he said.
The bikes were free to be viewed by members of the public on the day at the Hawke’s Bay Racecourse, but they could offer a donation if they wished to support the charity, White said.
“We usually have between 300 to 400 bikes turn up depending on the weather. Nothing turns your head like the roar of a Harley.
“The riders come from all over New Zealand, any bikers are welcome. We are just bike enthusiasts, not members of a gang or anything. We love riding, it’s plenty of fun.”
Plenty of people showing up on the day to support the riders and the charity, would be ideal he said.
The fundraising amount target was between $10,000 to $15,000, he said.
Charity founder and youth worker Kerrie Waby said any amount fundraised would be greatly appreciated.
“We really appreciate the fact that they are supporting the local initiative.”
Around 15 Acorn Project volunteers and members will also be at the spring run, walking around with buckets to fundraise.
Waby wants the fundraiser to also act as an awareness-raising activity.
“People need to realise that there is a youth worker on-site to offer face-to-face, one-on-one support to young cancer sufferers aged 12-24.”
All members also had access to peer-to-peer support depending on their needs, she said.
“Young cancer sufferers are going through a difficult time in their lives, so building relationships is crucial. It is really important the youth worker builds the relationship.
“It’s a new way of looking at life with cancer.
“As our members and their families are so different, the support we offer is tailored to individual needs. This is decided through face-to-face conversations.
“Having someone to talk to when life gets hard and the future is uncertain can be a lifeline”, Waby said.
The Hawke’s Bay Harley Spring Run will kick off at the Hawke’s Bay Racecourse. Gates will open at 9am, with the bikes expected to take off at 12pm.
Tickets can be purchased online through Hawke’s Bay Harley MC http://hawkesbayharleymc.co.nz/ or they can be bought on the day at the venue.