A local bicycle club has stepped up to help a struggling father whose ex-wife killed one of his twin baby girls and left the other severely disabled.
The mother, who cannot be identified, walked free from court in 2014 with no jail time and a one-year community corrections order after claiming to be in the grip of postnatal depression.
The baby girl who survived suffered permanent brain damage and has cerebral palsy.
Now, five years on from the horrific incident, the father of the remaining disabled twin daughter and her other sibling is struggling to cope with the demands of being a single parent.
Being a full-time disability carer means that he cannot work and the small amount of Centrelink support he gets is not sufficient to support his family.
“My daughter relies on me for everything, it’s not easy,” the father said through tears.
“I love looking after her and I wouldn’t have it any other way. But disability is expensive and I’m struggling to make ends meet.”
To help fill the gap, the Beacy Bike Club is hosting an inaugural community charity ride called Around the Other Bay (ATOB) on Sunday 29 October.
The father reports feeling “very emotional” that his family was selected for the fundraiser.
The fundraiser is headed and founded by Beacy Bike Club member Joe Terlato who hopes that the fundraising efforts will be able to make things easier for the struggling family.
“The aim is to try and raise enough money to pay for some repairs to his house and his car which he desperately needs funds for that he doesn’t have,” Mr Terlato said.
The idea for the fundraiser initially started after club members began to object to the hundreds of dollars needed to participate in Victorian cycling event Around the Bay.
“We wanted to create an event where we could keep it local and fundraise directly to a local family, without the middle man that most charities go through.
“We want all the funds to go straight to the cause, so we created Around the Other Bay where we will literally take the opposite route to the other event.
“The plan is to choose a different local family in need to fundraise for each year.”
The Sunday ride will commence at Holm Park Reserve in Beaconsfield and head to Stony Point for a gourmet breakfast.
Next, riders will catch a ferry to Cowes, riding there through to Woolamai, Glen Forbes, Bayles and back to the starting point in Beaconsfield for a post-race meal and a well-deserved drink.
The 178 kilometre journey will have refuel points at many points along the way, as well as 50, 80 and 120 kilometre options to ensure that riders of all abilities can join on the day.
So far the event has attracted the sponsorship of local businesses, including Land Rover and Jaguar Berwick which have donated four cars that will be used by the event support team as well as Khan’s Hospitality Service which will provide the catering.
The all-inclusive registration, which includes entry, all meals and snacks along the way, an event jersey and mechanical and rider support is $175.
The second registration is $115 and includes everything except the custom rider jersey.
Registrations are open until the 27 October at www.trybooking.com.
The Beacy Bike Club encourages members of the community to participate, and welcomes any support from local businesses.
For any queries, contact Joe Terlato on 0412 317 250 or email@example.com, or Gary Weston on 0407 833 887 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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