15 April, 2022
By Caitlin James and Emily Middleton
Last Thursday, 137 people drove through Gilgandra as part of esCARpade, with colourful decked out cars to raise money and awareness for Camp Quality.
Drivers and passengers from all around the country in roughly 60 cars, drove from Albury to Coffs Harbour in seven days. Stopping in Gilgandra on day five, the esCARpade team dropped in to Gilgandra Sporties for lunch.
The team is made up of dedicated volunteers, many of which have had cancer impact their life in some way.
Grant Cox is an eighth-time esCARpader, who drives the Corey community car, a car created as a legacy to his daughters best friend, Corey.
“Corey had a heart transplant, and was in the 10 per cent that got lymphoma. Beat it twice but had chronic heart failure at 30.”
Corey’s family sponsor the Corey car, and Mr Cox’s daughter has her friends donate to the car as a gift for her birthday each year.
Mr Cox explained that Camp Quality has been one of the biggest supports to his daughter and Corey’s family.
“Even though Corey has passed, they still invite the family to Camp Quality events. And even though my daughter wasn’t a direct sibling, they helped her meet other people with similar stories.”
Mr Cox said that everyone in the esCARpade was here for the same reason.
“It’s a party with a purpose. We’re one giant family.
“It tends to hook you, you do it once and you keep coming back.”
Members of the esCARpade all raise money over the 12-month period between drives on their own accord.
“People raise money by sponsorships, golf days, trivia nights, and other events. They put a lot of time and energy into the fundraising that they do,” said event manager Rachel Gibson.
This years esCARpade has raised over $1,079,000, smashing their goal of $1 million.