Great ride – great cause

Derek Houghton Keenly sniffing the crisp morning air of the July Country Market for the scent of a story, Number 8 Network soon happened upon first-time stallholder and Gordonton local Derek Houghton, who took to the market to raise awareness and funds for the Great Australian Ride.

Taking place from August 18, the Great Ride will involve 12 intrepid motorcyclists (Derek included) embarking upon an epic 20-day, 8000-km trip from one side of Australia to the other.

The purpose of the journey is to raise money for SIDS and Kids, a charity organisation dedicated to the support of families who have lost children to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or cot death.

Derek, a regular market-goer and Gordonton resident for 10 years, said all donations would be going to the charity, while all expenses for the trip will be paid out of pocket. The former shelter belt trimmer has always wanted to take part in the ride, especially after a friend did it last year.

“It’s a chance to do some good… it’ll be a great experience,” he said.

Donars to the Ride are entered in the draw to win a range of motorcycle gear and/or a subscription to motorcycle mag Dirt Rider Down Under. Derek is aiming to raise $2000, and so far has raised $537.90.

SIDS and Kids statistics show Sudden Infant Death Syndrome claimed an average of around 100 young lives per year from 1981-2007, although the mortality rate has decreased in recent years. Last year’s Ride raised more than $AU26,000 for the charity.

The market provided Derek with a opportunity to spread word of the Ride, as well as a chance to become a stallholder at a market he enjoys.

“The market has a great selection of projects, crafts…it’s really good for the community. I’m amazed at the number of people.”

Best of luck to Derek and his dirt-bike dozen!

Donations can be made by clicking here.

STORY: Ciaran Warner

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Number 8 Network - a community website for the rural areas northeast of Hamilton, NZ, is run by Gordonton journalist/editor Annette Taylor.

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