Community & Business

11 May, 2023

Changing lives one race at a time

THE uniqueness of the Great Wheelbarrow Race has allowed hundreds of charities and organisations to come together and fundraise for and promote their cause whilst enduring the 140km event.

Changing lives one race at a time - feature photo

Since fundraising became an important aspect of the race in 2007, $2,354,212 has been raised for a variety of charities across the country.

Undoubtedly one of the most iconic fundraising teams of the race history is the “IndieStructables”.

The team was formed by a group of Mareeba locals in 2011 when Indie Rose Taurima was diagnosed with leukaemia at three months old. They have competed every year since then.

When Indie lost her battle in 2014, the Indie Rose Foundation was formed and have since raised hundreds of thousand of dollars to support Far North Queensland families when they have a sick child.

“Through fundraising for the Great Wheelbarrow Race, we have been able to provide much-needed funds for the Indie Rose Foundation to help children like Indie and their families,” IndieStructable Natasha Srhoj said.

“Although little Indie is no longer with us, we, as a team, are able to carry on her legacy and help others.

“One of our biggest fundraising years was in 2013 when we raised a grand total of $111,294 for Indie and her family.

“The whole community and people from all across the country got behind Indie and it was one of the most special times to see the support that was given – but that is what people do best – help others when they need it the most.

“Fundraising for any charity or cause always brings out the best in people and we will be forever grateful for the support the Indies and the foundation have received since we started 11 years ago.”

In the earliest years of the race, fundraising was not a priority but as it grew in popularity more and more teams decided to do it for their charity of choice – a very important change made to the race in the opinion of race veteran Michael Harnischfeger.

“I think the biggest change in the whole event has been the change from a race to a charity event,” he said.

“Originally the organisers viewed it as a competitive race, but people started getting into (fundraising) and there have been some fantastic amounts raised.”


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