Aerosure Tour De Chance – one week to go before we start the event

Dear Friends and Supporters,

We have just had a few huge weeks of training and fundraising events and we are now counting down to the start. The Tour de Chance preparations are going really well.

The highlights of the last few weeks definitely includes Better Home’s & Garden TV chef Fast Ed Halmagyi’s paella event which was extremely well received (especially by Ashleigh who was already a big fan of Ed’s). He did a great job building awareness for the cause and raising funds by selling his paella. Ed is a very generous soul  and we are all so grateful for his efforts. Well done Ed and thank you!

Some photo’s of Ed with the team are posted on the Tour de Chance Gallery – please have a look at .

While in the Gallery you will also see some photos from last week’s Bunning’s BBQ where rugby league legend Matty Johns kindly gave up part of his Saturday to serve up snag sandwiches.

My good friend Damian King, his partner Lisa and my brother Dan worked tirelessly to raise over $1400 on the day while spreading the Fighting Chance word.

In the gallery you will also see a few photos of people holding up some art works. These were produced by Ashleigh and sold at Pete Eborn’s (another rider) Brisbane fundraiser (one piece alone fetched $750). Pete and his wife Bec raised over $10,000 on the night – an incredible effort. Thanks you so much to all the people who participated in the evening.

Lastly in the Gallery you will see some shots from yesterday’s team ride to West Head. This was in part to provide some footage and interviews for a segment that the ABC’s 7.30 Report will be running on Fighting Chance and the Tour de Chance to be screened this Friday (21st). Be sure to have a look – ABC at 7.30pm on Friday 21st Feb.

While on the subject of media promotion, Jordan O’Reilly (who is co-founder of Fighting Chance and is riding with us on the Tour) did an interview on local ABC radio last week. Jordan has been invited to work on the organising committee for the upcoming Y20 summit  which gathers extraordinary young leaders from across G20 countries to identify the pressing global economic challenges facing young people, engage in policy discussions and generate solutions which will be presented to the upcoming G20 summit for consideration in their discussions. Both he and Laura are deservingly building powerful reputations.

Here is a link to Jordan’s radio interview (I even crack a mention – thanks mate!!)

To those of you who have already donated to the ride – many thanks from us all, but can I please ask that you take a minute to think of a few people in your network who might be interested in this cause and to forward them this email.

For those of you yet to donate, I appreciate that we are flooded with requests from worthy causes almost on a daily basis, but can I please ask you to consider supporting this wonderful charity. To make a donation please follow this link

If you would like a reminder of how your donation is going to be put to use, there is a summary at the bottom of this email written by Fighting Chance’s CEO, Laura O’Reilly outlining the plans for the funds raised

Thanks again for your ongoing support.

How your donation to the Tour de Chance 2014 will be used (from Laura O’Reilly, CEO Fighting Chance)

Double the places available in our employment and social participation programs from 20 to over 40 participants – $122,000

Invest in our current program infrastructure to build the foundations for regional and national expansion in 2015 – $50,000

Contribute toward a fully adapted and accessible transport bus – $48,000

Open new and specially adapted premises – $30,000

100% of the money raised from the Tour de Chance will be going directly to support Fighting Chance’s programs.

With the support of the Tour de Chance, we hope to drastically increase the impact and scope of our work in 2014. Fighting Chance presently provides intensive supports and opportunity for 20 young people with disabilities, but with your help we believe that we can do so much more next year.

If the fundraising objectives of the Tour de Chance 2014 are met, we anticipate that we will be able to open up our innovative Avenue program to an additional 20 people in 2014. The Avenue program gives school leavers and young adults the opportunity to engage in work experience, training and vocational day activities which take them beyond perpetual unemployment and into productive work. It costs Fighting Chance approximately $6,100 per year for just one person to attend the Avenue program, so we need to raise $122,000 to be able to double our program participation next year.

In addition to program funding, Fighting Chance will need to invest in our infrastructure in 2014 if we are to double participation in our programs. Should the Tour meet its fundraising objectives, we plan to invest $30,000 in our premises next year which would allow us to double our floor space and fully adapt the building to meet the very particular needs of the people we support. We hope that a very physical legacy of the Tour 2014 will be a funky, energetic, tailor-designed and intuitive premises from which we will deliver our programs in the future.

For people on a pension, this transport challenge can be an insurmountable barrier to movement, employment and participation. By buying a bus, Fighting Chance will be able to vastly increase the scope and reach of our programs and offer our opportunities to people who cannot otherwise get to our service. We will use $48,000 of the funds raised by the Tour de Chance 2014 to buy a wheelchair adapted bus. Transport is a huge challenge for many people with a disability, who are often physically excluded from public transport and rely on a very expensive taxi transport.

With a bus, a larger adapted premises, and the money to fund our expanded programs, we plan to double the impact of the Avenue program in 2014 by opening the programs to an addition 20 people. This would be a phenomenal outcome and genuinely change the lives of some of the most vulnerable young people in our society.

Importantly, we plan to use up to $50,000 from the Tour de Chance 2014 to start working with other like minded organisations regionally and nationally with the goal of trialling our programs with a larger cohort of participants, and use these skills as the basis upon which to build Fighting Chance’s national expansion program in 2015 and beyond.

In 2014 we aim to capitalise on the momentum generated by the Tour de Chance to strengthen and expand our program delivery in NSW. But the impact will not end here, building on our foundation of local success our ambition is to begin expanding our programs regionally and interstate, thereby enabling us to enrich the lives of people with physical disabilities all over Australia.