Two former drug addicts pushed a ute 50km on the weekend to raise money for Teen Challenge, a drug rehabilitation centre in Kyabram.
Simon Gilboy and Mark Stokes are two success stories of Teen Challenge and have so far raised $10000 for the cause.
‘‘We wanted to do something difficult because changing your life is difficult,’’ Mr Stokes said.
Starting at 7.30am Saturday and finishing about noon yesterday, the two pushed the ute in 10km blocks.
‘‘The last 5km (on Saturday) felt like we were pushing uphill...Simon was hallucinating,’’ Mr Stokes said.
Believing he was a number of laps ahead of himself, Mr Gilboy said the challenge was one of the toughest things he had ever done.
‘‘That desire you have for drugs when you’re an addict...the core of that is now being used for good,’’ he said.
‘‘I’m so grateful for Mark...he’s helped me keep going when I was really struggling and just the conversations we’re having as we push...that’s real life.’’
Mr Gilboy now works at Teen Challenge as a personal trainer and hopes to raise an ambitious $250000 to help expand the facilities at the centre.
‘‘I’m trying to get new gym equipment...all of it is old donated stuff...and the gym is so useful for participants in the program as a bit of a release,’’ he said.
Both men spent an extended period at the centre in Kyabram, which requires participants to attend for a minimum of 12 months.
‘‘About half of the (25) beds are taken up at the moment...so there is space if people are interested,’’ Mr Gilboy said.
The fundraising efforts continue with a similar event called ‘‘Ute Push Relay Challenge’’ at Emerald Bank on Sunday, November 26.
‘‘It’s for corporates, we are trying to get 30 teams together to push utes as far as possible in a two-hour period,’’ Mr Gilboy said.
For more information or to be involved in the next fundraiser, email [email protected]
To donate, go to www.mycause.com.au/events/teenchallengepursuteutepush