THIS time it’s personal.
Taking part in the Wayne Leonard’s Motorcycle Muster is personal this year for Steve Cutuli, who lost his brother to organ failure aged 39 last year.
Mr Cutuli, a teacher, will be doing his fifth event this year but the recent family loss makes his fundraising more heartfelt.
“Last year my younger brother was in hospital and we got to see the patient televisions that we helped fundraise for, so it was amazing to see our fundraising efforts at work,” Mr Cutuli said.
“It definitely becomes more personal,” he said. “It was the hardest time in my life when we lost him and the whole family is still struggling. But it was great to know that there were things that we had done to make his last days a bit more comfortable. You don’t want to see your parents go through that – losing one of their children. That’s not how it’s supposed to be.”
But on a positive note, Mr Cutuli said what he loves about the ride is being able to combine his love of riding and doing something good for the community.
"And it's so easy to raise funds. With a Harley as the prize, people chase you to buy tickets," he said. "As part of your entry you're expected to raise at least $300, but I've always aimed for at least $1000."
"It's a great group of people, who help make it an awesome weekend," he said.
Hosted by the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation, the ride celebrates 15 years of riding to raise money in 2016. Participants will head to Mission Beach via the scenic Atherton Tableland on June 18-19 this year.
Foundation CEO Tony Franz, who always participates in the ride himself, said it has contributed more than $700,000 towards improved health outcomes since its inception in 2002.
Fundraising this year is going towards the Cairns Hospital Emergency Department – a video laryngoscope which improves patient safety during intubation, and a non-invasive ventilator that reduces rates of intubation. The total value of these items is just over $60,000.
“Wayne and Rhonda Leonard are long time supporters of the Foundation and the local community and we are grateful to have their family so closely involved with this premier fundraising event for health care in the region,” Mr Franz said.
“Every cent raised goes directly to the cause intended and stays local to help local families,” he said.
For further information visit www.motorcyclemuster.com.au.
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