The Bega Lions Club had some very special – and very weary – guests at its regular dinner meeting this week.
The Bega Lions were thrilled to welcome Lions members from Albany in Western Australia who have been on a very special motorcycle trek across the country to raise money for diabetes research.
Called Hope in a Boat, West Australian Lions member Glen Hurst has embarked on an unusual adventure, towing a boat with a motorbike around Australia for 80 days.
With him are fellow Lion Guy Cook, also towing a boat on a motorcycle, and support crew Raymond Cowcill and Marina Rurenga.
The group is more than two thirds of the way through the Hope in a Boat project, which is being backed by the Lions Club of Albany and is raising money for Diabetes Research WA.
“I lost my dad to diabetes a year ago and my mum also has the condition so this is a cause that’s very close to me,” Mr Hurst said.
“Our dream with this project is to help Diabetes Research WA fund medical research that may lead to a cure for diabetes so we’re urging everyone whose lives have been touched by Type 1 or Type 2 to kick in for the cause.”
Diabetes Research WA executive director Sherl Westlund said, “Local researchers are on the brink of some incredible breakthroughs, with one team investigating a protein which could help reduce diet-induced obesity and Type 2 diabetes and others making inroads into better treatments for Type 1 diabetes so there is great hope.”
Secretary Peter Wiley and vice-president Keith Underhill of the Bega Lions, meet the group at Club Bega late Wednesday afternoon.
The Albany group were relieved to see some friendly faces after a longer than expected day of travel.
Spring snow and road closures near Tumut had resulted in a four-hour detour to get to Cooma and on to Bega.
“I think they will definitely be looking forward to a warm meal and a rest,” Mr Wiley said.
“It’s always great to welcome Lions to Bega and help them out with their fundraising.”
Mr Wiley was pleased to present a cheque for $500 to the Hope in a Boat crew when they arrived which was happily received.
The Albany Lions were staying at the homes of Mr Wiley and Mr Underhill for the night, and were due to set out early for a breakfast with the Pambula-Merimbula Lions Club on Thursday morning.
Their journey will eventually end in Queensland and will cover 22,000km.
The Bega Lions have been busy themselves of late.
Recently three members of the group – Mr Wiley, Phil Benny and Bryson Banfield – joined the board of Community Carers Accommodation South East (CCASE).
The group, made of service clubs in the Bega Valley, is working towards building carers accommodation next to the South East Regional Hospital when it opens in 2016.
Mr Wiley said the Bega Lions Club is always happy to welcome new members, and any men and women thinking of joining can contact him on 6492 2344.
To support Hope in a Boat, call 0427 984 154 or make a donations to the Lions Club of Albany at the National Bank, BSB 086518and A/C 843 831 400.