Wescarpade gears up

Smurf's up: Bendigo Bank's Donna Bamkin and Fiona Bell with Mitch Vickers. Photo: Cam Findlay.
Smurf's up: Bendigo Bank's Donna Bamkin and Fiona Bell with Mitch Vickers. Photo: Cam Findlay.

The Camp Quality Wescarpade is lining up for another bout of messy bush adventure and raising much-needed funds for the non-profit, with local Mitch Vickers once again getting their Smurfs-themed car on the road.

Mr Vickers will embark on his second go at the Wescarpade, an annual rally designed to create awareness of the organisation’s work supporting children with cancer around the country.

And only two years in, Mr Vickers has been stunned by the support shown by the Mandurah and Pinjarra communities – this year’s campaign has seen more than $44,000 flood in to the team’s fundraising page from local business and residents.

“We’d done the Variety Bash a heap of times before, but this is only our second time in Wescarpade so we weren’t sure on the support,” he said.

“But it’s been really touching, because we haven’t had to do much. Most of it is just from people’s own charity.”

Bendigo Bank Pinjarra are the major sponsor of Mr Vickers and the car, allowing him to maintain the vehicle during the famously arduous rally.

“Last year the track got a bit flooded at parts and had to be re-routed,” he said.

“This year the track’s from Moora to Geraldton, so it should be a bit easier.”

Mr Vickers recommended Wescarpade to anyone looking to make a difference to chidlren’s cancer, and have a bit of an adventure themselves.

"The friendships you form, their lifetime friendships, because you’re meeting people in these really beautiful places and talking about things you’re passionate about,” he said.

Camp Quality delivers national programs which build resilience and optimistic behaviors in children who are living with cancer and aged 0-13 years.

The organisation is currently in the stages of expanding, and hopes to bring their services to as many children as possible – with Wescarpade’s help.

“it’s a really direct and active way of making a difference and making a deal of it while you do it,” Mr Vickers said.

“You’re out there, meeting people. It’s powerful.”