Hobart riders put foot to pedal for Ronald McDonald House

VIRTUAL riders came out in force to raise more than $39,000 in support of Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) VIC and TAS Virtual Rides for Sick Kids.

The event was the first ever Virtual Ride for Sick Kids and was held from Saturday 13 to Tuesday 23 March.

Members of the public pledged to ride between 50 to 200 kilometres across the 11 day self-paced challenge.

“We are proud to have launched our very first Virtual Ride for Sick Kids this year,” RMHC VIC and TAS chief executive officer Peter Bishop said.

“Seeing the significant impact that COVID-19 had on our fundraising activity last year, the Virtual Ride allowed Tasmanians to continue to support RMHC in the comfort of their own homes and neighbourhoods.

“All funds raised will go towards supporting RMHC programs across Tasmania and Victoria, including Ronald McDonald Houses, Family Rooms and our Learning Program, so we can’t thank the community enough for their ongoing support and for helping us combine the crucial work that we do.”

Ronald McDonald House Hobart manager Chelsea Emery said the Virtual Ride for Sick Kids was an important fundraiser to help support RMHC and its programs.

“The Ride for Sick Kids and now the Virtual Ride for Sick Kids are some of RMHC’s biggest fundraisers, and provide accommodation for families in our Ronald McDonald Houses across Tasmania and Victoria,” she said.

“The event supports us being able to provide the accommodation in the Hobart house, but it also helps us provide food, car parking and other programs that we offer here for those families in the hospital.”

Allison Jongbloed was one person who participated in the ride, setting herself a goal to ride 50 kilometres and raise $500.

“I rode 69 kilometres and raised $531, which equates to three nights worth of accommodation for a family,” she said.

“I rode 45 kilometres in a day which is the longest ride I’ve ever done, but next year I want to go bigger and better.”

Ms Jongbloed said the Virtual Ride was a great opportunity to support RMHC.

“Being part of these fundraisers really opens up your eyes about what the RMHC do,” she said.

“It’s really important to keep families together when their kid is sick and if children have to travel from regional areas into the city to get their treatment then it’s lovely for them to have their parents and close family around them for support.”

Ronald McDonald Houses provide a home away from home for families, allowing them to stay close to their sick or injured child while they receive treatment in nearby hospitals.

“We’re accommodation with a heart, so we provide food and people to talk to – basically people are joining a community when they come and stay at the house,” Ms Emery said.

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