Over $200,000 raised at Geelong Convoy for children with cancer

The streets of Geelong were bustling this past Sunday with blaring horns and flashy chrome as Camp Quality’s Convoy Geelong returned for its ninth year.

More than 200 trucks took over the roads, travelling 43km through Lara, Corio, Waurn Ponds and Geelong from Beckley Park.

With a fundraising goal of $180,000, the team at Camp Quality were shocked to see a whopping $199,029 raised through donations alone.

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Combining merchandise sales on the day, the total efforts concluded with well over $200,000 for supporting children with cancer.

Camp Quality general manager of revenue Sandie Hall says the event “went so well.”

“I think last year we did around $160,000 so it was a huge increase, especially in a really tough economic climate,” Hall says.

One of the many Kenworths joining in on the convoy

“The community turned up and turned up in a big way. We had more than 200 trucks and it was amazing.

“We had probably more people lining the streets of Geelong and waving everyone by than we’ve ever seen before. The community were there for us, which was incredible.

After a fight for the top spot, the team behind Laylah Mitchem led the convoy with a winning fundraising effort of $17,665.

Laylah Mitchem, who is just 4yrs old, has just been diagnosed with Cell B acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

She needs to have a 28-day chemo treatment and then continued 3 days a week for the next 3 years.

“Laylah came along on the day and the truck was driven by Nick Cave. She’s still going through treatment, but it was a really special day,” Hall says.

Following in second was JASE@Scott 900Legend who raised $10,015, with third place snatched by Wilba Williamson with $8,818.

A sea of blue hit the roads

Now it all isn’t just about the individual efforts, with the PrixCar Services team taking top spot for corporate team raising $18,941.

Colac Crew unsurprisingly dominated the community team section, raking in an eye-watering $40,017.

“They absolutely smashed their fundraising goal this year. I think they raised $34,000 last year so this was just amazing,” Hall says.

“They fundraise all year around for the convoy. They have a committee, they do a quiz night and a ball and market days,” she says.

After being given a moment to park and rest up, the truckies were then up for judgement at the Show ‘n’ Shine.

The People’s Choice award for best presented fleet was awarded to PrixCar Services, and Laylah Mitchem and driver Nick Cave took home best individual truck.

For the first time since before the pandemic, the event was combined with a Camp Quality family fun day.

geelong convoy
All the children had a blast at the family fun day

“We had 200 Camp quality kids and family members on site as well. Some of them went in the bus on the convoy, and others were just there to enjoy the fun day.

“We had face paint, balloon making, a bouncy castle, rides and a barbecue going.

“The kids absolutely loved it.”

Now an event like this wouldn’t be complete without a surprise guest, with Yogi from Outback Truckers deciding to pop into the festivities.

“Everyone was absolutely starstruck and he was just incredible,” Hall says.

“He came up on the stage and said some words when we did our show and shine awards and our convoy fundraising awards, and then he just hung around and was chatting to everyone getting photos.

“He was just an absolute smash hit.”

The PrixCar Services team celebrating!

Camp Quality programs and services help families build optimism and resilience through community, education and fun.

Supporting children aged 0-15 dealing with their own cancer diagnosis, or the diagnosis of a sibling or parent, the organisation assists with every step of the way: in hospital, at school, online, and away from it all at their camps and retreats.

Some of the money fundraised has been allocated as:

• $4,000 to go towards finding four family retreats
• $6,000 will fund four children going to a 3-day camp
• $15,000 will fund 277 child life therapy sessions at a paediatric hospital

To learn more or donate, please visit here.

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