The i98FM Camp Quality Convoy will once again take over the roads of the Illawarra in November, aiming to blast through the $5 million fund-raising mark in its 10th year.
The convoy of trucks and motorcycles first hit the streets in 2005, and after raising $20,000 in its debut year, has become a much-loved fixture on the community calendar.
Hundreds of vehicles parade their way from the Illawarra’s northern tip to its southern suburbs, raising money for Camp Quality’s programs for children and families affected by cancer.
Jessie Burton is one of those special kids the convoy is all about.
Jessie was diagnosed with a retinoblastoma, a tumour behind the eye, when she was two. She was forced to have an eye removed, and replaced with a prosthetic.
Jessie, about to turn eight, and her family have been involved with Camp Quality for several years, but 2013 was her first convoy.
‘‘It means the world to us,’’ said Jessie’s mum, Jodi.
‘‘It is incredible, absolutely awesome. It was pretty tear-jerking last year. It is so special to so many families.’’
The convoy raised a huge $1.2 million last year, to bring its total fund-raising efforts to $4.3 million since 2005.
‘‘I can’t believe the growth, how the community have grabbed it and how much they love it,’’ said i98 breakfast host Marty Haynes.
He started a similar concept in Canberra in 1997, but Mr Haynes said the Illawarra event had grown to become one of the biggest fund-raisers in regional Australia and the biggest truck convoy in the southern hemisphere.
He said truck registrations would be capped at 750, but an unlimited number of motorcycles could join.
‘‘The community just gets so behind it, and line the streets all day. It appeals to so many people,’’ he said.
The convoy is set for November 16, to begin near Helensburgh and end with a family fun day at Albion Park.