Ride4Rotary 2022 Virtually Unstoppable

They say it never rains; it pours!

That was certainly the case in the weeks leading up to the 2022 Ride4Rotary with record rainfall across the Illawarra severely soaking the grassed areas around the Unanderra Velodrome.

After a final inspection of the grounds a week before the event, the committee deemed that holding the live event with close to 140 riders, volunteers, vendors, families and spectators represented a significant safety risk to all involved and so the ride became 100% Virtual.

The end date to ride was extended to May 29th with all registered live riders automatically switched to the virtual format and everyone encouraged to take a ride, run or walk in their own time in support of the event and the cause.

So while we may have been missing out on the fun and excitement of riding around the velodrome with our teammates, as well as the delicious food and family entertainment, the overriding message was one of seeing the event out to it's conclusion and raising as much money as possible for SYFS.

Everyone involved were still clearly onboard and fully committed. From the Sponsors and Business Supporters to the riders who continued to fundraise and post updates of their virtual rides, the people who continued to sponsor and donate to riders and the new riders who continued to register in support of the event.

We are extremely pleased to announce that the event still raised $57,496 with over $55,000 after costs being donated directly to SYFS to assist in funding it's Education, Employment and Training programs which assist vulnerable young people in areas such as employability skills, personal development, training and course applications and educational support and resources.

Despite failing to match the 2021 total of around $70K, the organisers remained buoyed by the outcome considering the significant financial and social impacts of Covid and extreme weather incidents on the community over the past year. 

The official cheque presentation was held at SYFS Youth and Family Centre in Warilla on June 17th where all 8 local Rotary Clubs (Corrimal, Kembla, Wollongong, West Wollongong, Dapto, Kiama, Fairy Meadow and Shellharbour) who officially supported the event were thanked and acknowledged along with members of sponsors, supporters and SYFS staff and young clients who participated in the event.

The event's leading fundraiser and SYFS Youth Worker Courtney Luftig was presented with a $1000 Trek Bicycles Voucher by Trek Wollongong's David McGuinn, after raising a whopping $2,737 and contributing significantly to the highest fundraising team total achieved by SYFS Residential Illawarra of over $6,100.

The winner of the Ride Nation School Bike Education Program valued at $1,800 was also drawn at the presentation, with David Mann being drawn as the winner and nominating St Columbkilles Primary School in Corrimal as the beneficiary of the prize.

SYFS would sincerely like to thank the Illawarra's Rotary Clubs and the community at large for another successful Ride4Rotary and we look forward to getting back out on the velodrome next year.