The Hawaiian Ride for Youth continues to break new ground 20 years on, fundraising a record $3 million in its anniversary year to support the mental health of young Western Australians.
On 22 March 2022, more than 200 cyclists embarked on the 700km Hawaiian Ride for Youth. Along the journey from Albany to Perth, they celebrated two decades of solidarity and commitment, while honouring the estimated 30,000 young lives helped and saved by the efforts of the event.
At the end of Ride Week 2022, Christina Matthews, Chair of the Hawaiian Ride for Youth Organising Committee, announced that the Hawaiian Ride for Youth had raised a record $2.9 million.
“In 20 years, this iconic event has grown from 24 riders who raised $150,000 in 2003, to Australia’s largest, most successful event for the prevention of youth suicide, raising millions of dollars each year,” Ms Matthews said.
This figure continued to climb post-event, with big-hearted supporters eager to see the total reach a staggering $3 million. Today, the final $7,000 has been generously contributed by John Busby. Mr Busby is a long-term rider, event sponsor and managing director of Budget Car and Truck Rental.
Mr Busby’s initiation to the Hawaiian Ride for Youth was as a sponsor but he soon joined the riders’ ranks. In addition to a phenomenal 17 years of team sponsorship and outstanding fundraising efforts, Budget Car & Truck Rental supply the support vehicles during Ride Week.
“It’s fantastic to provide support and be involved in an event as meaningful as the Hawaiian Ride for Youth,” Mr Busby said.
“Over the years, I have forged great lifetime friendships and met so many passionate people making a real difference for those struggling with life and at risk in our society.”
The funds raised by the Hawaiian Ride for Youth will directly help young people seeking support for mental health challenges at WA-based not-for-profit organisation, Youth Focus.
Youth Focus offers face-to-face counselling and other life-changing mental health services to young people aged 12 to 25 and their families, at no cost to them.
Rider number one, Wayne Bradshaw said that from humble beginnings 20 years ago to raise $3 million is incredible.
“It is testament to a wonderful group of riders and their supporters that over $29 million has been raised over 20 years to help our youth,” Mr Bradshaw said.
In 2002, Wayne was among the group of dads who decided to transform their pastime of cycling for fitness into a charity event to support young people.
Also among that group was James Sutherland. Mr Sutherland is one of the only people to participate in the full 20 years of fundraising, training and Ride Week.
“Back in 2003, $3 million would have been so far beyond our fundraising expectations it is ridiculous. It makes me dream big for what will be achieved in the next two decades,” Mr Sutherland said.
Registrations for the Hawaiian Ride for Youth will open by the end of May. For more information on participating in or supporting the Ride as a corporate sponsor, please visit www.rideforyouth.com.au.