Greg Thompson, Leigh Madew and Andrew White.
Greg Thompson, Leigh Madew and Andrew White. Jonathan Wallis

Sorell truckies step out for fundraiser

RICK Sutcliffe conceived the idea of putting on a truck show last year, in aid of his daughter Macklyn's AFL football club, The South East Suns Women's Football Club, who play in the Southern Tasmanian Football League.

He tossed the idea around among his friends and workmates, who were totally supportive, saw the potential, and encouraged him to take it further.

While initially the president of the club was a little reluctant to take the idea on board, Rick's enthusiasm finally changed his mind.

And as history shows, Rick and his committee put on a most impressive and successful truck show on the Queen's Birthday long weekend in June, at the Pembroke Park in Sorell.

The truck show, and all it entailed, proved to be a resounding success and is now locked in as an annual event on the June Queen's Birthday weekend.

Once again the weather was brilliant, and the day a huge success in every way.

Billed again as a working truck show, it included a restored truck and vehicle display and a very popular muscle car show with about 70 cars turning out, including classics.

On the day a convoy of 43 trucks assembled at the Derwent Entertainment Centre proceeding via the Brooker Highway over the Tasman Bridge and causeways to Sorell.

In all, 104 trucks turned up on the day, with about 4500 people turning out, making this a major event for Tasmania.

The show raised an impressive amount of about $10,000 after expenses on the day, for much-needed amenities and resources for The South East Suns Women's Football Club.

Notably, the convoy fundraising auction for position, was won by Dennis Carmichael from New Norfolk driving the eye- catching Stateline Freight's 2017 FH 16 who took poll position having raised $5925, the first 10 trucks having raised an incredible $11,676 for the children's charity Give Me 5 for Kids.

Dave Noonan and Al Plath, ambassadors for Give Me 5 for Kids, rode in the Convoy and were both deeply moved and have promised further promotion for the event on MMM Breakfast Radio Hobart in future.

Nicholas Denholm ran a successful wood raffle raising money for the Black Dog Institute and he raised a worthy $1007.40 on the day.

Organised as a major family day as well, starting at 10am it was an all-day show offering something for everyone.

It was good to see Rebecca White, representing the Labor Party, and Mayor Kerry Vincent in attendance on the day, both of whom graciously expressed their support for the show.

Refreshments and hot food were available and, there was excellent catchy and popular live music from the Royal Australian Navy Band, Tasmania, plus all the traditional entertainment for the children including face painting and a jumping castle.

Apart from the muscle cars and trucks on display, there was also a great display of model trucks from Marty Rowbottom, and Ritchie Byers had his miniature trucks there on show as well.

Attracting a lot of attention, Peta Rainbird had eight of the late Brian Garth's fine models, including an outstanding R-190, on display.

Organisers Rick Sutcliffe and Emma Bygrave have asked us to especially thank the truck judges for all categories for their assistance, and though they have asked to remain anonymous, they deserve a special mention for their unbiased and excellent judging.

They also would like to thank Ricky Shaw from Kingston Locksmiths for the donation of the spectacular People's Choice car trophy.

Thanks also goes to all those who helped out, donated raffle prizes and trophies, and those who simply turned up for a look on the day to make the numbers to ensure it was such an enjoyable and memorable occasion.

The pair also thanked major donor and supporter Tony Berry from TasTrans for his encouragement, help and assistance, and without whom the event would not have been the success it was.

All in all, Rick Sutcliffe and his committee, which included Emma Bygrave (in charge of fundraising), deserve the highest praise for their second impressive and successful show.

It was a huge credit to them, and to all the truck drivers and everyone who helped make the day the unqualified success it was.

They have indeed made the benchmark high for future fundraising events in Tasmania.

In parting, we would like to mention that Rick deserves accolades for soldiering on after sustaining an accident just prior to the departure of the convoy, when he was up cleaning his truck and slipped and landed on his side on the metal walkway at the truck wash.

He is still not completely healed yet but he is improving slowly and we would like to wish him a speedy recovery.

And finally, the good news is that they are already planning for an even bigger and better show in 2019.

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