On Sunday, Cannon Hill State School student, Xavier Jay, won my 810th Rudd Bike at the annual Morningside Festival.
Over the past fourteen years, I have donated hundreds of Rudd Bikes to Southside schools and community groups to assist in their fundraising.
The Rudd Bikes have helped raise more than $600,000 for schools and community organisations across the Southside.
The first ever Rudd Bike was donated to the Gateway Refugee Support Centre. This terrific organisation directly supports newly arrived migrants in the local area by providing food hampers, welcome packs, accommodation, and opportunities to participate in local activities.
In 2005, I donated my 250th Rudd Bike to Epilepsy Queensland.
In 2008, St James’ Primary School in Coorparoo received my 500th Rudd Bike.
And last year, Morningside State School was the recipient of my 750th Rudd Bike.
On Sunday, I was proud to donate my 800th Rudd Bike to St Thomas’ Primary School in Camp Hill.
Some schools tell me that the Rudd Bikes can raise up to $1,500 for much needed projects and resources including the purchase of electronic whiteboards and air-conditioning units for classrooms.
But it’s not just the financial difference that this program has made to our schools and community groups.
I recently heard about a young boy, Tom, from St Joseph’s Primary School at Kangaroo Point. He was the winner of my 776th Rudd Bike.
He had won the bike at his local school fete. After packing up the brand new, shiny bike into the family car, he stopped and thought for a moment before saying to his family –
“I don’t need this bike. I’ve already got one.”
So what does Tom do? Of his own volition, Tom has the Rudd Bike delivered to the Romero Centre, a terrific local organisation that supports newly arrived migrants, especially refugee children.
This is what makes me proud of the Rudd Bike program.
This is what makes me proud of my local community.