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Ride for Hope

Ride for Hope

Speech to Parliament

July 02, 2014

Mr WINGARD ( Mitchell ) ( 15:17 :40 ): I rise today to speak about the Ride for Hope, which was hosted by Edge Church International. 

They do a marvellous job at Edge Church. I am not going to talk about their services or the spectaculars they put on either at Reynella or in the city, but I believe they are a great sight. Having witnessed a few of them, their spectaculars are very much worthwhile visiting and viewing; they make The Voice TV show look like a kindergarten production.

What I want to talk about today, though, is the Ride for Hope. This was a great event held on Saturday 24 May earlier this year, when Edge Church International, in partnership with Edge International Foundation, hosted a fundraising event, as I said, called Ride for Hope. This event was specifically designed to raise much-needed funds for children in Zimbabwe, through World Vision; in Cambodia, through Transform Cambodia; and, locally, the Childhood Cancer Association.

The participants of this events were mostly from Edge Church and the surrounding communities, and they got very actively involved in four activities: cycling, running or walking, driving, and motorcycling. They sought sponsorship from family and friends to raise money for those charities I just mentioned. It was great to see so many active people in the community out and about and engaging, seeing families come together to help a really worthwhile cause, and seeing young people extend themselves and push themselves.

One young lad, who was riding with his dad, worked very hard to get through the course and to complete it. Whilst he was working his way through a tough situation, when he got to the finish line he was very happy with himself, and so were all those around him. A marvellous job was done by all the families and the people in the community who got involved.

The day was a great success; they had over 427 participants, and it all finished in Bonython Park, where they had a celebratory lunch. A lot of the Edge Church volunteers helped put on the lunch, and it was an absolutely outstanding day. Donations are still coming in, but the total amount raised at this point stands at almost $60,000, which I think is an outstanding achievement by a wonderful community group. All these funds raised go directly to the children in these three organisations, so again they are great funds going to a worthwhile cause.

Out of the success of this event held here in Adelaide run by the two arms of Edge Church, from Reynella and the city, they have decided that it will be run annually and that next year it will be run nationally and internationally with Edge Church in Melbourne, Bristol in the UK, and the New York campuses also getting involved. It is a great idea, founded here in Adelaide, South Australia, and now expanding right around the world to raise money for a worthwhile cause.

It is also my pleasure to note that all the money raised will officially be handed over at a special evening planned for Friday 11 July at 7.30pm at the south campus on Old South Road, Reynella. I must point out that this is in the heartland of the Mitchell electorate. These are great people in the community doing wonderful things for South Australia and beyond. They will be joined by the CEOs of all three of the charities, which I mentioned earlier which they have been raising funds for, as well as Tim Costello from World Vision, and I am sure he will be gratefully receiving the cheques they hand over on Friday night.

Edge Church is looking forward very much to an ongoing partnership with these groups and the work Edge Church does in the community is outstanding. Some other events they have done over time include great community work with the Service to Youth Council, renovating seven units. Each year, they have a Christmas fair for the Childhood Cancer Association. They have also transformed four units managed for Childhood Cancer Association in Prospect, doing big renovations and fixing them up. I know that the Childhood Cancer Association was blown away with the work they did in Prospect and they are forever grateful.

Along with a number of other groups, they helped build a playground, landscaping and tree planting at Fulham Gardens Primary School. Again, they are putting back into a primary school in that area. They have done a couple of jobs and helped out at the Women's and Children's Hospital with renovations in the paediatric outpatient area and also in the accommodation unit. Morphett Vale High School was one of the first projects they entered into, where they revamped and did a marvellous job in the gardens and areas around high school—another community project that is very impressive.

The thing that really struck me and sat with me after this wonderful day when they gave so much and did so much for the community at large was when Pastor Jonathan Fontanarosa pulled me aside at the end and wanted to have a chat. I thought he might be coming to me to ask for something, for some help or for something I might be able to do for him, but amazingly he came to me and asked, 'What more can we do for our community? What more can we do for the people of Mitchell? What more can we do for South Australia?' For me, that just sums up what a wonderful community group this is and the great service they are giving back to South Australia.

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