IT'S Saturday night, you're sitting at home and you get a phone call saying you've won a Harley Davidson motorcycle.
Most people might think it was friends playing a joke or a scam, but Stephen Hodgkinson knew it was real because the raffle number he was told, married up with the number he had sitting on the fridge.
His partner had bought three raffle tickets in the Wayne Leonard's Motorcycle Muster raffle at Cairns Central, never dreaming their number would come up. While Mr Hodgkinson already has a motorcycle, plans are afoot for a family member to take on the Harley Davidson XL883 Super Low, valued at almost $15,000.
On May 16 and 17, more than 40 motorcycles and support vehicles rode to Lucinda in their annual pilgrimage around the region to raise funds for Cairns Hospital. Race director Wayne Leonard said this year exceeded expectations, with more than 64 participants joining in and raising more than $70,000.
Troy Leonard, one of the sons of Wayne and Rhonda who instigated the fundraising ride in 2002, is thrilled to hand over the bike today (Friday, June 5) to its new owner.
Troy’s babyhood difficulties made his parents aware of the need for community support for health services. He was born two months premature and underwent a short but worrying ambulance ride from Cairns Private Hospital to the then Cairns Base Hospital.
The first Wayne Leonard’s Motorcycle Muster in 2002, from Cairns to Townsville raised more than $19,000 – enough to enable the Foundation to buy a high-tech transportation cot, which included a monitoring and resuscitation system.
Designed to transport critically ill and pre-term infants, the cot has helped save the lives of countless babies born in Far North Queensland over the past decade: retrieving them from remote communities and/or ferrying them between hospitals as far south as Brisbane.
Riders and pillions this year rode to Lucinda for the weekend, fundraising beforehand and along the way.
Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation CEO Tony Franz, who fundraises and rides his own motorcycle in the event, said it was heart warming to see so many people willing to help others. “This is one of our signature events and every year motorcyclists show their support for others less fortunate,” Mr Franz said.
Funds raised this year will go towards the new integrated patient medical record and television system in Cairns Hospital’s surgical ward.
Photo: Troy Leonard (left) and Foundation CEO Tony Franz (right) congratulate winner Stephen Hodgkinson on his Harley Davidson win.
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