Due to concerns over surging COVID-19 cases around the country, the 10th annual Rise Above Convoy for Cancer has been postponed.
Planning was underway to allow the event to go ahead in Canberra on Sunday, 13 February.
The number of active COVID-19 cases in Canberra is around 5600 and Southern NSW is also experiencing high caseloads, as is the rest of the state.
Rise Above Capital Region Cancer Relief chair Di Hodge said organisers look forward to connecting with the hundreds of families and community members impacted by cancer in the region through the event.
However, “given the uncertainty surrounding the Omicron variant and the higher risk of infection COVID-19 poses to our immunocompromised patients, holding the event in February is simply too risky”, she explained.
“The health and safety of cancer patients and their families is our highest priority.
“But don’t worry, we will continue event planning with a view to hosting the event as soon as possible, once we have more certainty around the current Omicron variant,” Ms Hodge said.
The annual convoy is supported by the Canberra and Queanbeyan trucking and motorcycle communities and local businesses. Each year, hundreds of trucks and motorbikes journey from Beard Industrial Estate just outside Queanbeyan through Canberra to Exhibition Park for a family fun day and concert.
The convoy is the major fundraising event for Rise Above Capital Region Cancer Relief. The charity provides financial assistance to over 900 patients battling cancer throughout the region.
The charity helps with chemotherapy costs, medication, as well as providing food and fuel vouchers, and helping pay for electricity and gas for cancer patients.
This will be the first COVID-related cancellation for the event, although last year’s convoy was of a smaller scale than usual without the concert to finish.
Last year, the convoy raised over $120,000 and more than 300 trucks and 80 motorbikes participated in a very wet and rainy event, while in 2020, the usual full-scale (pre-COVID restrictions) event, raised a whopping $378,000.
The convoy was started many years ago by Marty Haynes, and after a short break, it was kickstarted again in 2013 when radio personalities Scotty and Nige got behind the event.
More information will be posted about a new date on the Convoy for Cancer Facebook page in the coming weeks.