Illawarra Walk donation will be a Great boost for KidsWish

KidsWish will be able to expand its programs, thanks to the generosity of The Great Illawarra Walk organisers and the hundreds of community members who took part in this iconic event.

A grand total of more than $92,000 was raised from this year’s event with Great Illawarra Walk organisers, and major sponsor Ray McCrimmon from Illawarra Security Guards, handing over the funds at a ceremony at KidsWish House last week.

With 547 participants walking the 40km from Shellharbour to Austinmer in picture-perfect conditions on Saturday 9 March, this year’s event was a stunning success.

The introduction of the KidsWish Blue Mile from Wollongong Harbour to Stuart Park’s new All Ages All Abilities Playground was a tremendous innovation for many families, younger walkers and other people who were unable to complete the full coastal trek.

All funds raised from this year’s event will support children living with disability or illness and their families through KidsWish’s programs, special events and community projects.

 

Great Illawarra Walk founder, Chris Lovatt, said it was incredible to see the amount of support from the Illawarra community.

“Over the past 17 years we have grown from a small number of walkers to more than 500 pounding the pavement in support of local children,” he said.

“We had blue skies and sunshine for this year’s event, and it was fantastic to see some extra faces with the addition of the accessible ‘KidsWish Blue Mile’ through Wollongong Harbour.

“Year after year the Illawarra community show up and take part, and we couldn’t be happier to be able to present this giant cheque today.

“We have a fantastic team of sponsors, and thanks to our major sponsor Illawarra Security Guards, we are able to donate 100 per cent of what we raise, with no administrative costs or associated fees.”

KidsWish Stakeholder Engagement and Fundraising Manager Emily Wright said the funds raised would greatly benefit Illawarra children.

“KidsWish is so grateful to be the beneficiary of the Great Illawarra Walk. It is a fantastic opportunity to engage with our community and the families we support, particularly with the introduction of the KidsWish Blue Mile for this year’s event which allowed people of all abilities to be involved,” she said.

“The money raised through this event will allow us to meet the growing demand for KidsWish programs and expand on the existing programs currently being delivered from KidsWish House in Flinders.

The Great Illawarra Walk

“With limited funding for children to attend group programs, these free programs help to bridge this gap and provide a safe and supportive environment for children to develop their social, emotional, and physical skills, whilst providing positive engagement opportunities within their community.”

Illawarra Security Guards Owner Ray McCrimmon said it was an honour to support Illawarra children in need.

“We are a locally owned family business, and we are so proud to be able to play a small part in helping such a worthwhile cause,” he said.

“To be able to support KidsWish in their vision to expand their programs is a fantastic thing to be part of.”

The next Great Illawarra Walk will be held on Saturday 8 March 2025.

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Tell us how KidsWish has touched your life. This is an opportunity to share your KidsWish experience. These questions are provided as a guide to help us to understand the full picture of your story and how KidsWish has impacted you and your family.

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1. Why/how did you become involved with KidsWish? 2. What do you get out of your involvement with KidsWish? 3. Why is KidsWish important to you? 4. How does KidsWish help you/your family? 5. Who is in your family? 6. What challenges do you face? 7. Your child/children’s diagnosis?

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