Ken & 'Cranky Clyde's' fundraising road trip for cancer research

There is no shortage of community spirit for Kenneth (Ken) Pillar as he prepares for a two-year horse and wagon ride across Victoria, South Australia & New South Wales to raise funds for cancer research. Ken has set a target to raise $50,000-$150,000 during his road trip, and thanks to donations of products and services from local automotive companies, media groups, and community clubs, he’s right on track.

Ken will be heading off on the 10th July from Mansfield Victoria, with his gypsy wagon and, of course, his moody mare ‘Cranky Clyde’. Ken and Cranky Clyde have already raised over $5,500 for cancer research from a smaller trip earlier this year, and now, public interest is quickly growing.

‘In the previous trip, we stopped in little towns such as Natimbuk, Dooen, St Arnard, Murtoa, Maroon, Rupanyup, Logan, Sheppaton and Benalla. Numerous locals would be waiting for our arrival’, said Ken.

He received support from Apex and radio station Horsham Mix FM, and local newspapers started following his story. The locals began taking to the main streets to catch a glimpse of Ken and Clyde as they passed through each town, offering donations if they could.

‘One guy came out several kilometres just to meet us and offer his home as a place to stay while we were there’, said Ken.

His previous trip took one month to complete, starting in Goroke in March 2010, finishing up in Mansfield situated in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range. His cart featured an ACRF banner, which individual sponsors were invited to sign and leave words of encouragement.

The 560km drive was only the beginning of what is now turning into an epic fundraising event. He met many people personally affected by cancer during his trip, and he is more convinced than ever to give full support and energy to The Australian Cancer Research Foundation.

‘You just don’t realise how many are affected by cancer’, says Ken.

The trip is a life-long dream for Ken and his motivation comes down to his commitment to fundraising for cancer research – he says there’s no better cause.

Many are already donating what they can for Ken’s upcoming fundraising event, including supplying food for Cranky Clyde, new wheels and rims for the wagon donated by Mansfield Toyota and Holden, and cash donations from individual supporters.

We wish Ken, Clyde and his supporters all the best for the epic event.

Special Thanks. Ken would like to thank the following individuals and companies for their support: Mail Times, Chips & Val (from Maroon), John Christy (President of the Sporting & Social Club) and David & Jennifer Torr (Publicans) at Railway Station (Hotel Eaglehawk, Bendigo), Wheadon’s Transport (Colac), R.L. Blakes Transport (Cobden), WIN News (Shepparton), Courier Mansfield, Goroke Hotel, Hounsell Fuel, Goroke IGA, John Perry (Bendigo), Richie Forster, West Wimmera Shire Council (Edenhope) and Apex Goroke.

Picture: Courtesy of the Weekly Advertiser – Horsham