Pictured inspecting the new equipment are, from left, Mary Jackson, Associate Nursing Unit Manager Heather Ronchi, Les Jackson and GP Anaesthetist Antony Wong.
INVOLVEMENT IN BIKE RIDE ENDS ON A HIGH
Added: Tuesday, 8 June 2010 Contributed by . CGHS After 17 years, local couple Mary and Les Jackson are bowing out of their direct involvement in the annual fundraiser event for the Central Gippsland Health Service, the Sale to Lakes Bike Ride.
The Jacksons are ending their involvement as the main organisers of the ride on a high, with a donation of $12,000 which has gone towards the purchase of a new piece of equipment for the theatre.
While they will still have some involvement and are more than likely to saddle up for the next ride later this year, the couple are taking the opportunity to join the ‘Grey Nomads’ and enjoy some travel around the countryside.
Les Jackson said he and Mary felt it was time to hand over the organisational reins, although “we’ll still be around to offer some help and a bit of advice if they want it.”
The original ride was organised through the Lamplighters, a community support group for the Health Service. Mr Jackson said Mary had ridden in the early 1990s in the Murray to Moyne, a long running fund raising event from the Murray River to Moyne on the south west coast of Victoria.
“When she came back from that she thought we could do something the same that would raise funds for our hospital rather than another one,” Mr Jackson said. “The bike trail to Lakes Entrance had only recently opened then so we thought that would be a good trip.”
Nowadays the journey is from Sale to Lake Tyers, after some changes to the trail, although the length has stayed the same; around 185 kilometres on the first day and 165 on the return trip. Most people ride it as a relay event, although some hardy souls take part as individual riders.
Mrs Jackson estimates the ride has raised in excess of $100,000 since it first began, and it has not stopped yet. CGHS Health Promotions Officer Renee Heath has taken on the role of main organiser for this year’s event, which will be held in November.
The Jacksons were on hand to see the latest equipment purchase made possible by the bike ride fundraising effort and also praised the efforts of all of the volunteers who had assisted over the years. “It is not just us, there have been many people involved and it would not have happened without them,” Mrs Jackson added.
Just over $12,000, most of which raised from the 2009 event, was donated with further support from the Friends of CGHS. The item is a Glide Video Laryngoscope, a device used to view the vocal cords and airways when intubating patients in preparation for surgery.
CGHS Chief Executive Officer Frank Evans said the community should be extremely proud of the efforts of Les and Mary Jackson and the many other people who have supported the annual bike ride.
“The contribution they have made is tangible and beneficial to our patients, with equipment this like item able to be purchased for the good of the Health Service and our patients,” Dr Evans said.