RAISE Lift Group's Camp Quality esCarpade for cancer kids

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RAISE Lift Group Charity Bash 2013. RAISE Lift Group director Andrew Skelton is driving a 20-year-old car 2500km over mainly dirt roads for six days to raise money for children suffering from cancer.  Mr Skelton is taking part in Camp Quality’s biggest annual national fundraiser, esCarpade, which is from Bundaberg in Queensland to Wollongong on the NSW South Coast via the Great Dividing Range.

“Barry Cotter, the former mayor of Marrickville, has been trying to get me to enter for many years. Then over lunch last year I shook hands and promised to enter,” said Mr Skelton, whose national company is based in Balgowlah on Sydney’s Northern Beaches.

“After searching for months I finally found the perfect car, a 20-year-old Subaru Liberty station wagon which I have entered with my co-driver Michael St James.

“It is Car 555, named in honour of the great Subaru Legacy rally driver Colin McRae.”

Mr Skelton then formed Mars Racing Team with friends Chris Liehr and Louie Armenis, who will drive Mr Coltter’s former car, a Holden HJ 75. Together they aim to raise about $50,000 for Camp Quality.

“Eighty percent of the route is on dirt roads. It is not a race, it is not a rally but it will be competitive and a lot of fun for a very worthwhile cause.

“As a father of four children I can only imagine the heartache of having a child with cancer. If we can help in any way that has to be a good thing.”

Both cars had to be extensively modified at the owners’ expense and are fitted with fire extinguishers, first aid kits, radios, trip computers, dust lights and tow balls. A cargo bar had to be fitted to the Subaru. Entrants also pay for their own accommodation and all expenses

“We’re  hoping to reach our target of $1.3 million, which goes towards supporting children with cancer and their families,” said esCarpade manager Monika Kodrun.

Along the route, the esCarpade crews will visit primary schools where the McDonald’s CampQuality puppet show will be performed.

Camp Quality’s esCarpade starts in Bundaberg on Sunday and includes a lap of  Mt Panorama, before finishing in Wollongong on Saturday, October 19.  Fifty-nine cars have entered.