Man mowing his way to $1M for charity
CLAUDE 'The Mowerman' Harvey will have a million reasons to celebrate his next mowerthon milestone.
Today the man set off from Rockhampton to mow his way to Townsville on his fundraising goal of $1 million for child protection organisation Bravehearts.
It has taken Claude almost 10 years to reach the million dollar milestone and has seen him walk his way through 83 pairs of his trademark sandals as well as push his faithful mower more than 24,000 kms across Australia in support of his favourite charity, Bravehearts - the only organisation in Australia dedicated solely to the prevention of child sexual assault.
Born in Kempsey, NSW in 1945, he became an active and dedicated Bravehearts volunteer after reading news of a pedophile being arrested for sexually assaulting a child.
When two family friends disclosed they had been sexually assaulted, Claude vowed to do everything possible to make a difference in the lives of child sexual assault survivors.
Since then, Claude has become a national living treasure with his fans and supporters turning out wherever he mows.
"People are supportive and always keen stop for chat, donate some money and take a few pictures with me and my famous lawnmower," Claude said.
"I am really excited to kick-off my next trip from Rockhampton and hope that this trip will get me closer to reaching my $1 million goal to support the education and counselling programs for children and families affected by child sexual assault," says Claude.
Claude's itinerary will see him mow down the kilometres from Rockhampton to Emerald, Mackay, Proserpine and Ayr before wrapping up in Townsville on August 4.
Bravehearts Founder and Chair Hetty Johnston AM, says Claude's efforts are testament to the difference one person can make to the lives of so many.
"Claude is a national living treasure and we are forever grateful for his remarkable contribution and fundraising efforts," Ms Johnston said.
"Wherever he goes people take notice and it's not every day you see a grandfather pushing a lawnmower through the main street of town. Claude's passion to help Bravehearts create child-safe communities is incredible."
Reaching the $1 million mark will mean a lot to Claude, but raising awareness will mean even more.
"Raising a million dollars isn't the most important thing to me," Claude said.
"It is more about raising the awareness of this horrendous crime in as many communities as I can across Australia. If I can change the life of just one child that is worth more than a million dollars to me."
To date, Claude has raised over $925,000 and this morning the Rocky region farewelled him with a guard of honour.