Camp Quality’s esCarpade convoy has overcome bushfires and the ravages of the road less travelled to deliver puppet shows to school students and raise more than a million dollars for children living with cancer.
A total of 57 themed cars rolled into Wollongong on Saturday, concluding a 2400-kilometre journey from Bundaberg in Queensland.
Team Illawarra was responsible for contributing $111,000 of the $1,147,244.20 raised for Camp Quality, which aims to create a better life for children living with cancer.
EsCarpade event manager Monika Kodrun said some detours had to be made to avoid bushfires in the Southern Highlands and Hunter Valley.
‘‘We had challenges around Muswellbrook and coming into Wollongong due to all the fires,’’ she said.
‘‘But we had beautiful scenery over Barrington Tops and we visited a school called Upper Bylong primary.
‘‘It’s a school of five kids and they lost their minds when 50 cars turned up.’’
She said being able to visit isolated schools was one of the best parts of esCarpade.
‘‘Not many crazy activities go out to those schools,’’ Ms Kodrun said.
‘‘Cancer doesn’t discriminate, so we need to make sure everyone knows these services are available to them.’’
Students’ favourites included a ‘‘Madagascar’’-themed car with animal costume wearing occupants, as well as a Mario and Luigi duo.
Ms Kodrun said she wanted to thank groups including Lions, Rotary and the CWA who helped provide meals for participants.
‘‘They’re community groups as well and they’re supporting our charity,’’ she said.
Eight schools were visited along the route, which took in Bundaberg, Hivesville, Dalby, Boonah, Lismore, Grafton, Coffs Harbour, Comboyne, Muswellbrook, Rylstone, Bathurst, and Bowral before reaching Wollongong.