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24 September, 2021

Have a heart – donate!

ONE single team in the QSuper Cardiac Challenge 2021 has raised more than a sixth of the overall total.

Team WTF (which stands for Where’s the Finish) has raised more than $65,000 and are well on their way to their $70,000 goal.

Team captain Rhonda Coghlan instigated the team six years ago with friend Helena Blumm, as they were starting to get into cycling fitness.

“It was early in the year, Helena suggested we ride in the Cardiac Challenge and so with another friend, that’s what we did. Since then, the team has waxed and waned a bit, it’s always been hospitality based, but this year we have 13 riders, and half as many supporting us,” Mrs Coghlan said.

The team is comprised of other restaurant owners, family members and friends who are all working towards the common goal.

“We’re very fortunate to have two particularly competitive people in the team, namely John Piccone and Kieran O’Connor who are both very driven and of course that’s what helps drive the fundraising,” Mrs Coghlan said.

“For me personally, my husband has a problem with a cardiac valve and my father-in-law died of a massive heart attack at the age of 60. We all have stories about heart disease. But do you know the one thing that brings me back to this year after year, is that the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation is the only charity I know of, where every cent donated goes where it’s intended and that’s because of the Foundation’s commercial activities. It’s an amazing model and I just love it,” she said.

Funds raised from this year’s QSuper Cardiac Challenge will go towards a ventilator for cardiology, a lung function testing system and an endobronchial ultrasound system for respiratory.

Hosted by the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation, the QSuper Cardiac Challenge is a three - day bike ride where the community rallies together to ride the 333 kilometres from Cairns to Cooktown in September.

Foundation CEO Tony Williamson said Team WTF’s fundraising achievements in 2021 now surpassed the $55,000 tally raised by Team Your Shout in 2012.

“We love seeing the money pour into the fundraising website. The beauty of the Foundation and these events, is that their commercial operations, sponsorship and registration fees cover all our costs which means every cent donated goes where it’s intended.

QSuper Chief Executive Officer Michael Pennisi said “QSuper is committed to investing in initiatives which create long-term benefits for Queenslanders. QSuper looks after the retirement savings of many Department of Health employees in the state’s far north and we are proud to support an initiative that helps our members working in cardiac health provide state-of-the-art care for their patients.”

Mr Williamson said “We have absolutely loved working with QSuper, their team is very engaged and they really understand what we are about. Working together with them on our common goals has been incredibly rewarding and we are very grateful for their ongoing support.”

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