23 November 2023

Illawarra's generosity 'never ceases to amaze' as Convoy announces record-breaking result

| Dione David
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Young driver in a Tiny Tins sponsored vehicle with a police officer.

According to the Lake Illawarra Police District, this young driver in a Tiny Tins-sponsored vehicle was pulled over for having an unsecured load, bald tyres and no indicators. He was fined $261,000. Photo: Lake Illawarra District Police Facebook.

The i98FM Illawarra Convoy has this year raised a record-breaking $2.85 million.

i98 Breakfast Show hosts Marty Haynes, Christian McEwan and Bella Leone announced the outstanding result on Wednesday (22 November).

The result is the largest amount raised for the Convoy alone in a year, outstripped only by 2021’s result of just under $3.05 million, which also included funds from the ‘House that Convoy Built’ project.

The outcome takes the total funds raised to slightly more than $25 million since the event’s inception in 2005.

READ ALSO Wollongong’s Children’s Ward is a better, brighter place thanks to Convoy and the community

Held on Sunday (19 November), this year’s Convoy was quite a spectacle, with 779 trucks and 633 motorbikes travelling 70 km from Illawarra Coal’s West Cliff Colliery at Appin, through the streets of the Illawarra to finish up at Shellharbour Airport for the huge free family fun day.

About 17,000 people attended the event, which included headliners Ricki-Lee and Thirsty Merc, supported by local artists.

Convoy manager Mark Rigby praised the results achieved in the face of an economically challenging climate.

“For our fundraising teams and businesses to achieve such successful results, with interest rates and the cost of living rising, is simply incredible,” he said.

“Many of these teams have held fundraising events right through the year to achieve these results. We’ve seen some great new fundraising events this year like First Choice Earthworks’ Ferret Race, Tiny Tins and Wollongong Crane Trucks’s ‘Battle of The Businesses’ boxing event, and NGIL’s inaugural Golf Day, and every year the list of events raising funds for Convoy continues to grow.”

Vesperados Illawarra members with their Vespas and wearing Illawarra Convoy T-shirts

Small vehicles, big hearts: The Vesparados Illawarra rode 26 Vespas and raised thousands for the Convoy this year. Photo: i98FM Illawarra Convoy Facebook.

Convoy founder and i98FM Breakfast Show host Marty Haynes echoed the sentiment.

“It never ceases to amaze me how generous the people of the Illawarra are,” he said.

“Many of our fundraising groups far exceeded their results from previous years, and it’s a credit to the hard work, collaboration, time and effort so many people put in year-round for Convoy, especially in this cost-of-living crisis.

“This money will help to make a real difference to those who are bravely facing other illnesses and hardships in our community.

“To everyone who has supported Convoy, thank you … be nothing but proud of yourselves.”

READ ALSO ‘Tuff Tyde’ to hit the road with truckloads of gratitude for the i98 Illawarra Convoy

The next i98FM Illawarra Convoy, to be held on Sunday 17 November 2024, will be the 20th – and organisers are hoping it’ll be the biggest yet.

All funds raised in this year’s event will go to the Illawarra Community Foundation which will distribute funds to local charities and families facing life-threatening and life-limiting illnesses.

Submissions for funding can be made via the Illawarra Convoy website.

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