Fifteen years of raising funds to cure childhood cancer celebrated at the Snowy Ride

The sun came out in Thredbo on Saturday 7 November for the 2358 riders who took part in the 15th annual Honda Snowy Ride to raise money for research into a cure for childhood cancer.

Motorcyclists, pillions, families with a child being treated for cancer, as well as plenty of supporters and hundreds of volunteers, descended on the Snowy Mountains and Thredbo and celebrated the achievement of raising close to $250,000.

“Fifteen years on from Steve’s passing and the Snowy Ride is still attracting riders from all walks of life to contribute to our vital cause. I think Steve would be so proud of what is being achieved in his memory,” said Sue Walter, Director of the Steven Walter Children’s Cancer Foundation.

Steven Walter was just 19 when he passed away after an eight year battle with cancer. Before he died he asked his family and friends to do what they could to raise money for research into a cure for childhood cancer so that one day no other kid had to go through what he went through.

Steve had a love of motorcycles and aiming to make his dream a reality, Steve’s family and friends came up with the idea for a charity motorcycle ride. The Snowy Ride is everything he’d love in a weekend – friends, family, motorcycles and having fun.

“We have such a loyal group of motorcyclists who support the Snowy Ride year after year on motorcycles of all shapes, sizes and colours. It’s also heart-warming to see many new faces discovering what a fantastic event this is and helping us in our mission to find a cure for childhood cancer,” said Sue.

“This event is a team effort, and so is helping a child get through cancer treatment. Each and every person who supports the Snowy Ride can be proud that they are all on the team, helping kids beat cancer,” she said.

For the past fifteen years, the Honda Snowy Ride has been held on the first Saturday in November each year by the Steven Walter Children’s Cancer Foundation (SWCCF) with motorcyclists spending a day riding the picturesque Alpine roads and raising money to fund research into a cure for childhood cancer.

Honda motorcycles has been the major sponsor for the event since inception and this year donated a 2015 model Honda VFR800F valued at $16,000 as first prize, which went to Lee Roberts from Croydon in Victoria, and a 2015 model Honda CB500X valued at $9,000 as second prize which went to Trevor Wren from Revesby in NSW.

Other highlights of the event included free test rides on Honda’s fleet of motorcycles for licensed motorcyclists, a low speed riding skills test as well as a mass ride into Thredbo with participants dressing up for the occasion.

Each year SWCCF also hosts families with a child enduring treatment for cancer in Thredbo for the weekend through the Snowy Hydro Family Program, giving them a break from their hospital routines. The entire family is invited for a relaxing, fun-filled stay away from the serious business of a cancer diagnosis.

“We hosted six families this year and they’ve had a ball with helicopter rides courtesy of the Royal Australian Navy, motorcycle rides thanks to the Australian Goldwing Association and plenty of other great activities. The families are cared for by a dedicated group of volunteers and the program is generously sponsored by Snowy Hydro.

“Outside of the ski season, the Snowy Ride is the biggest event in the Snowy Mountains region and each year we are just amazed by the generosity of the motorcycle riders and pillions who come along to support the event.

“This year marks fifteen years since Steve passed away but with each passing year our commitment to finding a cure for childhood cancer grows even stronger,” said Sue.

“We know that more than 800 children are newly diagnosed with cancer each year in Australia and that for every 10 children diagnosed with cancer, three do not survive. It’s statistics like these that keep driving us to raise as much money as we can to support research into a cure.

“We can’t thank everyone who supports the Snowy Ride enough for their assistance in ensuring a great event. From the motorcyclists and pillions who take part, through to the volunteers who give up their time to make it a great event, we thank you for your support in helping us ‘Meet the Challenge’ of 100% survival for all children diagnosed with cancer,” Sue said.

The Snowy Ride is generously sponsored by Honda Motorcycles, Snowy Hydro, Kosciusko Thredbo and National Parks & Wildlife Service.