Children at the heart of charitable Lions fans

May 18, 2017

Children at the heart of charitable Lions fans

Ryan Toki (left) and William Peterson are stoked with the scooters they’ll be riding for charity. Photo: Supplied

Lions fan are making the most of the upcoming rugby tour by seeking to better the lives of sick children.

The group, ‘A Lion’s Tale’, has an ambitious plan to travel by scooter from Auckland to Wellington to raise money for the Starship Foundation.

Event organiser Breffni O’Reilly said they will embark on a gruelling three-day drive on 50cc scooters between Eden Park and Westpac Stadium.

“It’s going to be 40km/h, it’s not going to be easy…and it’s going to be painfully slow.”

Mr O’Reilly said Starship and other such organisations are close to his heart and always at the forefront of his charity work.

“In Ireland, my niece spent the first six months of her life in intensive care in a children’s hospital and they did such a fantastic job.”

The work they did was amazing, and they needed the support, said Mr O’Reilly.

“We were thinking about raising money for charity, and what better charity than Starship Children’s Hospital.”

The riders will begin their trip on the morning of June 25 after watching the first test the previous night. They aim to reach their Wellington destination on June 27.

The New Zealand public have been amazing, said Mr O’Reilly.

“We’ve been very lucky with the generosity of people, one person has given us their bach in Taupo for us to spend the night in.”

The group invested heavily into the trip but Mr O’Reilly said it was all worth it.

“It’s probably going to cost each person $3000 to $4000 for maybe fundraising $5000, but it’s worth every penny.”

The group hope to make even more money for Starship at the end of the trip by auctioning the scooters off on Trade Me, Mr O’Reilly said.

“Hopefully we’ll get them signed by the All Blacks and Lions, and raffle them off.”

Starship community fundraising executive Krissy Garnham said in a statement Starship was very grateful for the efforts of Mr O’Reilly and his group.

“What a creative and fun fundraising initiative to scooter from Auckland to Wellington following the 2017 DHL New Zealand Lions Series.

“We wish them all safe travels and a very heartfelt thanks for all they are doing for the children, their families and staff at Starship Children's Hospital.”

Trade Me spokesperson Logan Mudge said the online auction site wouldn’t take any of the money raised from the scooter auctions.

“We don’t take a cut, we waive the fees for these charitable causes, we try and get every dollar to the charity itself.”

  • People interested in helping the group's cause can visit the fundraising page here.

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