Claude hits magic $1million milestone at Scone for Aussie kids!
Australia’s famous ‘mowerman’ Claude Harvey has today raised an incredible $1million for charity by pushing his trusty customised cutter throughout Australia.
Claude clocked up the magnificent milestone in the NSW country town of Scone during a 105-day mowerthon from the Gold Coast to Newcastle to raise funds for Bravehearts to educate and protect Australian children from child sexual assault.
With a donation box and iPod dock adorning his trusty Victa, the 70-year-old grandfather was today greeted by Scone Mayor Cr Michael Johnsen to help celebrate the occasion with the local community.
“It is a great achievement and I feel overwhelmed by the generosity of people who give to this amazing cause of child protection,” says Claude.
Kicking off his super fundraising quest 15 years ago for various charities, Claude’s efforts have made him a national living treasure and a true children’s champion. He is now on a mission to raise $1million for Bravehearts – with that figure topping $750,000 following 10 years of fundraising.
Claude’s latest mowerthon will see him visit 43 towns and mow down more than 1000km, arriving at his final destination in Newcastle on March 21. He has visited towns including Lismore, Tenterfield and Tamworth.
“Late last year I saw the direct benefit of my fundraising efforts when Bravehearts’ personal safety program, Ditto’s Keep Safe Adventure show, visited my grandson’s school, but I’d like to see every Australian child in every school in every town given the opportunity to see this program,” says Claude.
“Survivors of child sexual assault and their families also need important support services and it’s these people who give me the motivation and strength to continue my ‘mowerthons’ around Australia.
“I’m delighted to meet the Mayor as well as all the local residents and businesses, as everyone is a stakeholder in child protection and it shows children in these regional areas publicly that Bravehearts is there to support them and their families.”
Cr Johnsen says it’s an honour to meet Claude and to celebrate such a momentous occasion.
“We’re delighted Claude is in Scone to share his personal story as well as Bravehearts’ child safety messages that will protect children in our community. The Upper Hunter Shire is proud to support such a worthy cause,” he says.
Bravehearts Founder and CEO Hetty Johnston AM, says Claude has a heart of gold and encouraged local communities to get behind him all the way to Newcastle.
“Claude has become one of our biggest fundraisers through sharing our commitment to protecting Aussie kids against sexual assault. What he’s been able to achieve for Bravehearts over the past decade has made him a living national treasure in our eyes,” says Mrs Johnston.
“His expedition will give a huge boost to Bravehearts’ community awareness and support in major towns in New South Wales and we urge locals to keep and eye out for him when he comes to town.”
Research shows that 1 in 5 Australian children will be sexually assaulted in some way before their 18th birthday – a statistic Bravehearts aims to halve by 2020 as it works towards its Vision to make Australia the safest place in the world to raise a child.