Washing cars for Kokoda challenge

Published 6:00am 13 April 2023

Washing cars for Kokoda challenge
Words by Nick Crockford

Pictured: Paul Walters and Marc Ward preparing for Sunday's five-hour fundraising car wash.

Three Bribie Island residents are aiming to make a fundraising splash in Bongaree this weekend before taking on the gruelling Kokoda Track.

Paul Walters, Marc Ward and Michael Kent plan to walk 96kms along the famous Papua New Guinea trail from Owen’s Corner to Kokoda village in November.

To kickstart their fundraising, the trio is holding a Car Wash for the Black Dog on Sunday (April 16), from noon to 5pm, at Bribie Car Wash at 215 First Ave.

All proceeds will go to the not-for-profit Black Dog Institute for diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mood disorders such as depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder.

Challenges

"We have each had our own challenges with mental health over the years, either personally or through our loved ones,” Mr Walters, 54, said.

“We can see due the worldwide events of the past few years, more of our community are also experiencing similar challenges and need help to identify and deal with these challenges.”

Paul, 54, “hiked” Cradle Mountain in Tasmanian last November to raise funds for the Black Dog Institute. On finishing he immediately registered for the Kokoda Track.

Marc Ward, 47 and Michael Went, 46, have been friends for years - and Paul met Marc a year ago at a local Crossfit gym.

Washing cars for Kokoda challenge

“Marc mentioned it being a goal for Michael and him to also do the (Kokoda) trek to celebrate Michael's birthday and suggested they get on board,” Paul said.

Together they will join 15 other fundraisers which has a collective fundraising goal of $195,000 from the adventure.

The team of 18 will start their 10-day Kokoda trek on November 9, holding a Remembrance Day memorial service on the way.

“We chose to support the Black Dog Institute because we can’t express enough how amazing and crucial the work they do is” the Bribie trio said.

'Astonishing'

“The facility is top of the range and the workforce behind the scientific research is astonishing. It warms our heart knowing they are here and helping to create a mentally healthier world.”

For more on the Black Dog Institute and mental health research in Australia, click here.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call one of the following national helplines:

Lifeline Counselling Service 13 11 14

Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467 (cost of a local call)

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