Yuleba Fun Run 2014
New York, Boston, Berlin, Yuleba, Melbourne are all on any serious marathoners hit list…wait, Yuleba? Well, yes indeed. This small regional Queensland town is bringing the serious and not-so-serious runners out of the woodwork and into the bush as they prepare for the third annual Yuleba marathon and fun run.
On April 18, 2015, locals and imports alike will hit the wide open roads around this tiny country town and run like the wind – or in my case, like a slight breeze – to raise funds for the charity Help Kids Like Nick.
Nick Blacket is an extraordinary young man. The Blackets are from St George, although his mother and extended family hail from the tiny town of Yuleba, situated 60km from Roma in southwestern Queensland.
Some 19 years ago, Nick’s parents, Alison and David, were delivered the difficult news that their newborn son, Nick, had Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome (WHS), a rare and debilitating condition affecting around 40 children and adults Australia-wide. Nick would require full time and ongoing care for the rest of his life. The 500km from Nick’s hometown of St George to Brisbane became an all too regular trip for the Blackets to treat Nick’s complicated health issues. It wasn’t until later in Nick’s life that the family partly moved to Brisbane so Nick could attend Narbethong Special State School.
Despite all the challenges of caring for Nick, the Blackets consider themselves lucky. The support received from many family members and the community has allowed Nick’s life to bloom. Witnessing him living a fulfilled life inspired Nick’s extended family to look for ways to support other families caring for children and young adults with WHS. As a result, Help Kids Like Nick – or HKLN – was founded in 2012 to do just that.
Now in its third year, the HKLN Yuleba marathon and fun run is attracting participants from far and wide and bringing the nearby regional communities together to raise funds for this special charity. But it’s not all about the run. In fact, it’s way more of the FUN than the RUN. The entire Yuleba community lays it on – nothing compares with bush hospitality, right? The tiny population quadruples for a few days a year to accommodate day-trippers, campers, volunteers and competitors alike. This year promises to be the town’s biggest turnout yet.
There are five distances for runners and walkers, catering for every age and ability: the showcase event, the marathon, as well as the half-marathon walk or run, 10km event, 5km and 3 km walk or run. Even if you can’t be persuaded to lace up your joggers, there is plenty more on offer by way of entertainment! Miniature pig races, live music and dancing, delicious meals prepared by an experienced chef and staff, upgraded camping facilities and a host of prizes for runners and keen fundraisers.
For competitors, there is comprehensive support provided to ensure a safe and enjoyable run for all. Two ambulances will be in attendance as well as first aid stations at 5km intervals. In addition, a recovery tent will be available for treatment from highly experienced physiotherapy and massage therapists. According to marathon competitors last year, the Yuleba course is undoubtedly challenging and its April date makes it the perfect preparation run for runners in training for mid year events such as the Gold Coast marathon.
Despite the HKLN charity operating for a short three years, its impact on families caring for WHS kids has been widely felt. Monies raised from the fun run included a grant for a Melbourne family to help offset the $30,000 cost of fitting out their car for wheelchair transport.
Another three families have benefited from grants for their post-school-aged children, who no longer have access to care, therapy and learning opportunities at their special schools. These grants mean that families can continue to access services for their children outside the school system.
So if by chance you’re looking to add a great feel-good event to your running calendar this year, the Yuleba HKLN marathon and fun run is calling! This bush run is about more than just recording a good time. It’s all about having one.
Online registration opens Feb 2.
Seven Senses Dinner
Thanks to all who supported the gala dinner at Cloudland, Brisbane on Friday 1st November 2013. It was an outstanding success raising just under $25,000.
Gerrard Gosens, special guest speaker was inspirational and was definitely a highlight of the evening. Please click on to this link to view photographs of the evening
Thank you again to our sponsors for the evening:
Tree Frog Gallery 23rd February 2013
A beautiful evening unfolded at the Tree Frog Gallery in Maleny recently raising a bountiful $3680 for Help Kids Like Nick. The accomplished and talented gallery owner/ artist Heather Gall, a close friend of the Blacket family and board member of Help Kids Like Nick orchestrated an extravaganza of artworks, music and fashion. The lively harmonies of Cadenza, a four piece quartet delighted the audience, young twin violinists Astar & Rawhinia Castle spirited us to another world with their soulful tunes and Robyn Woodrow amazed us with her wearable art creations which can only be seen to be believed. Louise Kennedy-Richardson held us in awe and fits of laughter with her incredible operatic performance.
Nick Blacket, the champion for Help Kids Like Nick, was represented by his mother Alison, whose heartfelt insight into family life with a disabled child reminded us that extra resources are essential for these children.
Help Kids Like Nick are extremely grateful to all who contributed to The Concert at the Tree Frog Gallery.
To view some of the evening’s higlights follow this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPCizu5Y-Yk
Kokoda Trek 19th September 2012
Step, squelch, step, squelch – this was the sound of the Kokoda crew who completed a gruelling and sometimes muddy 96 km on their recent Kokoda Track walk in September 2012. Father and daughter Stephen and Olivia Dykes, and school friend Holly Denton rose to the challenge of the tropical mountainous terrain and fast flowing creeks and found the experience enriching in so many ways. Their physical ailments of blisters, and big ones at that, sore legs and backs, and weariness faded at the finish when they were able to more fully appreciate the efforts of the soldiers in PNG in World War 2.
So out of this great effort came some amazing fundraising. Thanks for the mighty work guys and thanks also to the many family, friends and businesses who through donations helped well and truly eclipse the original fundraising target of $10 000. Stephen, Olivia and Holly raised over $16 145.80 for Help Kids Like Nick – a massive amount which will help to make life easier for families with Wolf Hirschhorn Syndrome.
Barefoot Bowls – 26th August 2012
We had a fantastic day for our first official fundraising event for Help Kids Like Nick! The official amount raised for Help Kids Like Nick was $2963.67.
THANKS to everyone who attended, donated, sponsored and helped to make the day such a success.
St George Race Day – 21st July 2012
An initiative of Stephen Ferguson from Brisbane Racing Club, the inaugural St George City to the Bush Race Day was a winning combination for many. 100 guests from Brisbane were flown out to St George courtesy of Channel 7, Nova FM, Avmin, Salva Resources, Coca Cola and Brisbane Racing who were major sponsors of the day. Over 1000 people attended the Race Day in beautiful sunshine and had a ball. We had a great reception to our launch of Help Kids Like Nick, as St George is also Nick Blacket’s home town.
The day was made even better with news that Help Kids Like Nick will receive $3251.40 as one of five beneficiaries of the day.
Body Shop Raffle
Imagine winning over $450 of Body Shop products in a raffle- what fragrant, pampered moments you could create.
Well, Austin Kelly will be looking good after receiving the Raffle Hamper recently. His was the winning ticket drawn on October 12 2012. Austin and his wife Robina were two of the many racegoers at the St George City to the Bush Race Day in July.
Thanks to the many other supporters over the last few months – your ticket purchases helped raise $1882 for Help Kids Like Nick.
Thanks also to Sally D, Isabel J and Jenny MJ for the donated products.