Smiling for Smiddy aims to raise $1.3m
WHEN the Smiling for Smiddy cycling event comes through Biloela and Thangool this year, it will be a particularly emotional time for Thangool State School principal Michael Nielsen.
The annual event is held in memory of Adam Smiddy, a talented triathlete who died in 2006 from an aggressive cancer - at the age of just 26.
It is a special event for Mr Nielsen as he went to school with Adam Smiddy at Home Hill.
"He was a really down to earth person," Mr Nielsen said this week.
Smiling for Smiddy is celebrating 10 years in 2015 and has already raised more than $6 million.
This year's target is $1.3million and the Thangool community will host the riders on August 31.
Adam Smiddy died in August 2006 - just six months after being diagnosed and after spending just eight days in hospital.
Each year, hundreds of cyclists and triathletes use a passion for their sport to fight this devastating disease.
Smiling for Smiddy supports cancer research and the funds enable the dedicated team of researchers at Mater Research in Brisbane to undertake potentially life-saving research into the causes, prevention and improved treatments of cancer.
Over the last 10 years, the Smiling for Smiddy group has cycled north from Brisbane visiting towns including Eidsvold, Monto, Thangool, Biloela, Jambin, Dululu, Blackwater and Clermont and finishing in Townsville.
During this period, the Biloela and Thangool community have hosted this amazing group of cyclists.
They will visit our community on Monday, August 31.
Local people will billet the riders and support crew.
They will visit the Thangool State School and then the community will host an evening event at the Thangool Race Club.
Riders will leave at sunrise the following morning - to the sound of bagpipes.
Mr Smiddy's mother also lost her battle with cancer this year but his dad is expected to take part in the ride.
Mr Nielsen said the public was welcome at the Thangool State School on Monday, August 31 to hear the riders talk about their experience and speak to the students about sun safety and cancer awareness.
Local co-ordinator of the event, Don Morris, is still looking for people to billet about 18 riders and crew.
He said many strong friendships had been forged between host families and the riders and crew over the past 10 years.
"You will be chilled with goose bumps as you hear why these riders cycle 1600k in 8 days," he said.
For more about the event or to become a host family, contact Don Morris on 0419768020.