Riding for a cause
FOUR South Gippslanders will take part in a 1000km bike ride in Western Australia in October, to support a rehabilitation centre that transforms lives.
Rick and Mez Oldham of Archies Creek will join Deb Rielly of Wonthaggi and Gavin Slavin of Inverloch in the six day Kari’s Tour de Freedom 1000 event.
Funds raised will support Teen Challenge, an organisation that helps adults and children dealing with drug and alcohol addiction, and family violence.
The four will ride in Rick’s group, Team Vision Stream, and pedal from Esperance on the south-east coast to the capital Perth.
The event starts on October 27.
Mr Slavin tells why he is taking part.
“I would like to share with you our story about how drug abuse and violence has affected our family, and how Teen Challenge WA’s Grace Academy has provided the answer to repairing the effects of bad choices, drug abuse and violence.
“Over the past three years, our daughter, Rebecca Slavin, has been exposed to drug abuse and family violence through someone from outside our family.
“The vicious circle of violence and bad choices soon came to a fork in the road for our daughter. The answer to her problems was right in front of her.
“Teen Challenge was first introduced to me by my sister and friends. Our friends have spoken about the Teen Challenge and about the fantastic work they are doing at the Grace Academy in WA.
“Our friends also introduced a bike ride that supports Teen Challenge and 100 per cent of the funds are to help provide the support to our kids.
“Kari’s Tour de Freedom 1000 bike ride is an event that starts in Esperance and ends in Perth; 1000km in six days.”
“It’s amazing see the support Teen Challenge provides to the students. They are one big family that work together to overcome all the different issues the students have.
“It’s amazing how things turn out, and what a fantastic network of people we have throughout the Bass Coast area. Thanks to this, my daughter’s life has been saved and our families bond is stronger than ever.
“She is now five months into an 18 month program and the transformation is amazing. Every six weeks we fly over to Western Australia to visit Rebecca at Teen Challenge.
“My god, we have our daughter back. Thank you so much to our friends and my sister to introducing our family to this wonderful cause.
“The powerful message that Teen Challenge has given our daughter Rebecca has inspired her sisters to forgive her for her bad choices.
“Also the love between them has also inspired her sister to start studying to be a youth worker to help other people overcome their problems.”
Mr Slavin held a fundraising dinner auction at Vela Nine restaurant at Inverloch recently. Fifty people attended, raising more than $2000, with auction items supplied by local businesses.
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