Big Mack hits town for Camp Quality Convoy

Kiama Public School kindergarten student Cooper Lewis had a pretty popular show-and-tell item yesterday when his dad turned up behind the wheel of Mack the Transporter from the Cars movies.

It was his three young boys' love of the two Disney-Pixar movies, plus his passion for the i98FM Camp Quality Convoy, that prompted Aaron Lewis of Southern Truck Centre, Unanderra, to campaign for Mack to come to the convoy.

His persistence worked, and the bright red 18-wheeler built by Mack Trucks Australia, Brisbane, will have a prominent position come tomorrow when 720 trucks and 763 bikes make their way down Mount Ousley for Australia's biggest convoy.

Mr Lewis, the Mack area manager for the South Coast at Southern Truck Centre, has ridden in the convoy since its inception in 2005 to help raise funds for Camp Quality.

"I've been part of the convoy since its beginnings - and in the past two years with Southern Truck Centre," he said.

"We've raised $16,300 this year, plus paid for Mack's appearance, while M J Rowles has donated the money to enable us to open up the back of the truck and put on a bunch of activities for the kids.

"My kids have watched the Cars movies countless times and I don't think there's a kid who doesn't know who Mack or Lightning McQueen are.

"The convoy is an awesome event, and I think Mack is the perfect addition. I can't wait to see the smiles on the kids' faces - that's what it's all about."

Mack is an 18-speed, 500 horsepower machine that is a favourite on the V8 supercar circuit, and it was certainly a crowd-pleaser when Southern Truck Centre let parents and kids come in for a closer look yesterday afternoon.

It will be all part of the attraction of this year's convoy, hosted by Marty Haynes and Bianca Dye of i98FM, which promises to be the biggest yet.

Now in its eighth year, the convoy has raised more than $2.87 million for Camp Quality Illawarra.

This year M J Rowles will have the honour of being the lead truck, after a record-breaking donation of $110,000.

Tomorrow, the convoy will depart under police escort from Illawarra Coal's West Cliff Colliery on Appin Road at 8.15am, travel down Mt Ousley through Warrawong and past Stockland Shellharbour, then onto Croome Road, Albion Park Rail.

Between 8am and 3pm motorists travelling along roads included in the convoy route are advised to expect delays and allow extra travel time.

The action will continue with a free family fun day at the Croome Road Sporting Complex.

There'll be special performances by The Voice's Delta Goodrem, Rachael Leahcar and Ben Hazlewood plus entertainment, stalls and activities.

To donate to the Camp Quality Convoy visit mycampquality.org.au/illawarraconvoy.

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