Central west mums raising money for the Fred Hollows Foundation

Dubbo mum Joanna Linehan is among 3,700 trekkers preparing for one of Australia’s most popular fundraising treks, the Wild Women On Top Sydney Coastrek, on Friday.

Stretching 60 kilometres from one iconic beach at Manly to another at Bondi, or 30km from Kirribilli to Bondi Beach, Sydney Coastrek aims to raise $2.8 million for The Fred Hollows Foundation.

Joanna will undertake the 30km trek with her three friends on The Funnykints team. They are four mums from the central west who have eight children under seven between them, the youngest being six months.

Joanna and the Funnykints have done three treks together and organised a 25km fundraiser walk at the Collie Hotel in February.  Each year the teams of four, aim to raise at least $2,000 for The Foundation. 

“We wanted to do something fun, raise money for a worthy cause and have a fun-filled weekend in Sydney without our husbands or children,” Joanna said.

Living over an hour away from one another and training in the summer heat, Joanna said it has been a big commitment from everyone. 

“We are fairly remote so we do our own training through the paddocks and we don’t have many hills or stairs to practice on our outdoor walks, so the terrain will be very challenging for us,” she said.

They said the Collie walk “went really well” and the Funnykints have raised over $1000 so far and couldn’t thank Emily and Thomas Hancock who run The Collie Hotel enough for their very kind and generous support.

Since Coastrek began in Sydney in 2010, nearly 19,000 trekkers have raised more than $14 million for The Fred Hollows Foundation.

The funds have restored sight for hundreds of thousands of people and also helped prevent avoidable blindness by training local eye doctors and health workers to provide eye health awareness, screening and treatment.

This year’s fundraising goal of $2.8 million could give the gift of sight to up to 112,000 people, as The Foundation can restore sight for as little as $25 in some countries.

Founding Director of The Fred Hollows Foundation Gabi Hollows said it was inspiring to see so many people join the fight to end avoidable blindness.

“There are 32.4 million people in the world who are blind, and four out of five of them don’t need to be,” she said.