In the early hours of the 26th of March, keen cyclists were hitting the starting line before dawn for the annual east coast Bobbin Head Cycle Classic.
Amongst those at the starting line was our very own Turrumurra and Lindfield Community Bank employee Alexandra Milford, who was joined by her husband Andrew, and son Aiden for the 27km leg of the event. The Milfords formed 50% of the Bendigo Bank team riding on the day.
Having never participated in a cycling event previously, they were very excited and focused on conquering the long 4km uphill ride from the bottom of bobbin head.
“The climb from the bottom of Bobbin Head back up was always going to be a daunting task, but after doing years of running races we were sure of one thing”, said Alexandra, “not to stop on the hill as it would be twice as hard to get going again. This was the only plan we had and I can proudly say we all made it up the 4km hill without stopping”
Raising Funds for Lifeline H2H
The decision by the Turramurra and Lindfield Community Bank branches to become a silver sponsor of the event was an easy one due to the long running relationship with Lifeline H2H. In addition to sponsorship of the Bobbin Head Cycle Classic, a number of community grants have been provided to Lifeline H2H by the Community Bank to fund a variety of programs, the most recent being a grant of $5,940 in late 2015 for the program ‘Helping Angry Men”.
The Bobbo delivers tremendous community support in raising funding that goes towards charities such Lifeline H2H, who partner the event with The Rotary Clubs of Turramurra, St Ives, Wahroonga and Ku-ring-gai. In the six years the event has been running, over $900,000 has been raised, half of which has gone directly to Lifeline H2H allowing them to continue their vital telephone crisis support service. This much needed service responds to callers in crisis 24/7 every day of the year. Much of the funds raised afford Lifeline H2H to provide training and supervisors for the 250+ volunteers manning the crisis support lines.
“Events like the Bobbo are critical to Lifeline H2H as it is extremely difficult for us to run, hold and operate enough fundraising events to ensure on-going, sustainable funding in isolation. We are working extremely hard to become more self -sufficient in funding and less reliant on the Government (and making great progress), however shops and book fairs alone are not enough” says Lifeline H2H CEO, Wendy Carver.
“Running an annual gala ball also means asking a lot of our friends, colleagues, volunteers and families, and to try and tap into these same people yet again for additional fundraising events risks burning people out and actually losing support.
Partners like Rotary, are able to provide new resources, and energy to run other significant events for and with us. Before we established these major fundraising events, our Lifeline Centre and crisis support services were at risk of closing and lives would have been lost. With the support of the Bobbo, our services are currently very financially secure and sustainable.”
Amongst the huge fundraising efforts and masses of volunteers, some heart-warming stories stand out from the crowd; Lifeline H2H Fundraising Manager, Emma Bagley comments on the generous donation of Banana’s from Terry Xanthos of Natrano produce:
“This is quite simply a huge donation provided to Lifeline every year. Three years ago Lifeline were seeking bananas to feed the hungry riders participating in the BHCC, and we eventually connected with Terry Xanthos from Nutrano Produce out at Sydney Markets. Terry has since then organised for a different banana grower to donate 3500 bananas for the BHCC each year (this year being the third consecutive year) Terry makes sure the bananas are donated in full, and that they are ripe and ready to be collected the day before the event. He has been extraordinarily generous as have all three banana growers who have contributed to our event each year.
This year Connie from H2H went with the president of Ku-ring-gai Rotary Club (in our Lifeline van) to personally collect the bananas from Terry at Sydney Markets. He is a true Bobbo and Lifeline hero!”
The team at Turramurra and Lindfield Community Bank branches have already started to enlist participants for next year’s event, with Alexandra and her family looking forward to riding with the team in such a wonderful, well organised event again.
What a Bobbo it was… until next year!