Despite the challenges of the pandemic, Mackay’s premier charity bike ride, the Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland River 2 Reef Ride, went ahead over the weekend with the renewed support of the Freemason’s charity.
As the event’s Naming Rights Sponsor from 2019-2021, Hand Heart Pocket provided $25,000 towards this year’s Ride as well as a further $50,000 to kick off the fundraising effort.
Event Organiser Evan Corry said over 700 riders took part in the 10th anniversary event, raising $75,000 for the Suicide Prevention Community Action Planning Group’s Men’s Campaign based at ‘selectability’, RACQ CQ Rescue and the Mackay and District Sporting Wheelies.
“We are proud to have delivered this event with the help of Hand Heart Pocket, to ensure funding for our valuable local charities and to help boost morale in the community at a time where it was needed more than ever.”
“We were determined to make the 2020 event as enjoyable as possible, whilst having introduced a number of measures to ensure that it met current public health guidelines.
“This now takes the total funds raised over ten years to $600,000 for local charities.”
Some of the changes included staggered start times to replace a mass start and no crowds at the finish line. Also, in addition to the 30km, 60km and 90km distances, a 10km family-friendly “Ride the River” course was devised incorporating the Blue Water Trail along the safe path network to allow more families to participate.
Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said the Freemason charity was proud to have stood by the event and was encouraged by just how many participants rallied behind the event.
“This was a fantastic outcome for participants and the three local charity beneficiaries alike,” Gary said.
“We thank the community for joining us and rallying around the event in support of the good work that these three charities are doing in the broader Mackay region.”
Since coming on board as the Naming Rights Sponsor of the event last year, Hand Heart Pocket enabled a third charity which focuses on men’s mental and physical health to benefit from the event.
Photo: The Mackay District Freemasons team.