Charity ride has sights set on vision

The Lions Ride for Sight is gearing up to celebrate 30 years of supporting vision research.


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A charity cycling event that has raised more than $1.2 million for research and treatment for eye diseases is about to celebrate a milestone – 30 years of supporting research into blindness and vision loss.

Lions Clubs from across Gippsland are ready to lend a hand to ensure the Lions Ride for Sight, to be held from Friday 22 March to Sunday 24 March, is a success.

The Ride for Sight was Gippsland Lions Clubs’ response to the Lions’ International goal of ending preventable blindness.

The ride began in 1994 with a 500km ride from Mallacoota to the Centre for Eye Research (CERA) in Melbourne.

This year, participants will ride from Moe to Cowwarr and back, about 170km. Money raised will go to CERA for research into eye diseases.

Lions Ride for Sight Chairman Paul Drinkwater, from the Moe Lions Club, says the event is special for Gippsland Lions.

Mr Drinkwater says the Lions aim to raise $60,000 this year.

“It’s a real honour to be involved. If I’m asked to do it again next year, I just continually want to do it. It’s a challenge but the CERA cause is very close to me, like a lot of people.

“I want to make it bigger and better,” he says. “It’s very exciting, and it will be a good challenge this year.”

Supporting the cause

There are two ways to support the Lions Ride for Sight.

Participants can enter the ride itself from March 22 – 24 with a $70 entry fee. They must raise a minimum of $400 in sponsorship.

Or, riders can enter the Ride with a Difference, where riders pay $30 to enter and nominate the number of kilometres they aim to ride anywhere across the month of March to raise a minimum of $250 in sponsorship.

Ride for Sight riders will meet at the Moe Community Groups Hub at 4pm on Friday, 22 March, enjoy a group dinner at participants’ cost and an after-dinner presentation from a CERA representative on CERA’s work. They ride for Cowwarr on Saturday morning and return Sunday afternoon.

Lions Clubs from Moe, Heyfield and Latrobe Wellington (Toongabbie) provide all other meals, with other clubs and volunteers assisting.

“The Lions Clubs will contribute actively, but people will be donating to the riders. If it wasn’t for them, we couldn’t do what we’re doing,” Mr Drinkwater says.

There are many ways to help support the ride.

“We need marshals, volunteers for meal preparation – everything’s provided – setting up for meals and morning and afternoon teas, and we want the community to come along and watch,” he says.

“We would love some business sponsorship for things like meals and accommodation to help us grow. Some riders will be coming by public transport, so we would love some help with bicycle trailers to transport bikes from A to B.”

To join the Ride for Sight or Ride with a Difference, or support the riders, details are available on the event’s Raisley page.

For enquiries, email paul.drinkwater@aussiebroadband.com.au or phone 0450 260 679.

Join the ride

Contribute to raising funds for research to achieve the goal of a world-free from vision loss and blindness.

Donate to support those doing the ride, or sign up to participate yourself.

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