Big-hearted biker a charity champ

MERCURY SERIES - Making A Difference

Even when he is away on business or attending Ulysses Club events interstate, Just Cruisin' Harley Tours operator Steve Melchior is thinking of helping local people.

Most recently, Mr Melchior, who is also director of Elite Products, helped the Ulysses Club raise money for the Leukaemia Foundation's Illawarra regional office at the motorcycle club's annual general meeting in Maryborough, Queensland.

He donated an Elite Products trailer to help raise the money and afterwards, Ulysses Club president Denis Paulin travelled to Wollongong to hand over $2669 to Leukaemia Foundation regional manager Nina Field.

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The money was half of what the Ulysses Club had collected.

The other half went to the Ulysses Club Arthritis Research Fund.

Mr Melchior has a longstanding working relationship with Mrs Field that really stepped up a gear when she was fighting breast cancer herself a few years ago.

It prompted him to dress up in angel wings and ride his motorbike all over the Illawarra collecting money for the Angels at Work fund-raiser for the Leukaemia Foundation.

He has done that for each of the past four years.

But the work he has been doing with the Ulysses Club to help the Leukaemia Foundation goes back twice as long.

"We have been doing this for eight years now," Mr Melchior said. "I donate an Elite trailer each year to help raise the money."

Mr Paulin said with 26,000 members, the Ulysses Club was the largest organisation of its kind in Australia.

It is essentially a social club for motorcyclists over the age of 40.

There are 139 branches in Australia and numbers continue to grow.

It is so big that the AGM has turned into a major event itself.

What started many years ago as a camp-over meeting has grown into a seven-day expo attended by major motorcycle manufacturers and suppliers with trade displays and test rides, a grand parade, several nights of entertainment and even a church service.

The club's main purpose is to provide like-minded members the opportunity to get together for companionship and mutual support with organised one-or two-day branch rides at least twice a month.

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