Pride of NZ: Scooter rides for cancer cash

By Michael Botur

Jayne and Mike Rattray are ready for another ride to raise cash for a good cause.
Jayne and Mike Rattray are ready for another ride to raise cash for a good cause.

Fundraiser of the Year category: Jayne and Mike Rattray
Jayne and Mike Rattray started a movement which has raised $600,000 - and it all began with a few friends hitting the road.

"The idea came about in 2009," Mrs Rattray said. "The boys at Air NZ Engineering Services in Christchurch bought scooters off Trade Me."

A trip from Christchurch to Hokitika was the result.

As the group began to plan their big trip, one of their members received bad news and was diagnosed with bowel cancer.

"We thought, what can we do to help? Hence the Tranz Alpine Scooter Safari was born in 2009. We just got 32 colleagues from Air New Zealand and raised $15,000," she said.

"The following year, we built a website and promoted it on Facebook. By 2012, we had 250 scooters. It's a bit different to standing on the side of the ride holding a bucket."

The Scooter Safari has become so big that Transport Agency road management planning is required each time they ride.

The scooters - with engines of only 49cc - can move at no more than 55km/h.

About 250 of the nifty fifties slowed traffic on this year's safari and it was all for a good cause

"This has become part of our life. We started this thing and I guess we just keep on doing it."

Through the original safari, its Southern Scooter Challenge and Central Plateau Challenge spinoffs, thousands has been raised for the Cancer Society - $598,000 from the Scooter Safari alone.

"We can't take all the credit - each rider gets their own sponsor," Mrs Rattray said.

She said the eight-hour trip can be tough but nothing compared with what those with cancer faced.

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- NZ Herald

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