Successful walkathons in Dubbo, New South Wales, support various needs in the community, thanks to the hard work and organizational efforts of the Dubbo Quota club.
“Our first approach to holding the annual walkathon is to get the people of Dubbo behind us,” explains member Kit Barton. So, members solicit everyone for contributions—butchers for sausages to sizzle, the Coca-Cola distributor for drinks, the Buttercup Bakery for bread, a rental facility for tables and barbecue grills, and small businesses for prizes and raffle items.
The next step is spreading the news about the event. Club members visit local schools and businesses to provide sponsor sheets for participants, encouraging walkers to solicit sponsors among family and friends. The local radio station offers tremendous support with regular news about the event for the six weeks preceding the walkathon.
On walkathon day, participants gather, paying $5 each or $15 per family to join in the fun of the 10-K event. Quota members are on hand with drinks at three checkpoints throughout the course. At the end, walkers arrive at a festive celebration, receiving a drink and a sausage sandwich and a chance to listen to a local jazz band.
“It’s not a race,” Kit says. “It is about fun, doing something in the open air, and at the same time supporting the community. Some of the fitness freaks run the whole distance, some walk fast. Others walk sedately, and we even have disabled people and people in wheelchairs. It’s a long, wonderful, satisfying day.”
The walkathon raises well over Aus.$7,000, typically, which is donated to support a local medical or social service facility.