Alivia and George McGhie stayed at the Ronald McDonald House South Island for 183 nights last year and will benefit from proceeds raised by the Mt Somers Mountain Challenge. Photo credit CM Photography

Mountain challenge for charity

by Ann van Engelen

Supporting Ronald McDonald House South Island and local organisations or individuals the annual Mt Somers Mountain Challenge is set for February 22.

“Mayfield and District Lions Club has been hosting the challenge for 16 years and raised more than $210,000 for charity in that time,” says club spokesperson Aubrey Aitken.

“One of our members, Barry McLauchlan, had a grandson in a mountain bike race 17 years ago, and he thought it could be a good way to support local charities, so the event was organised.

“Barry has since died, but the race continues. We got in contact with the Aclands at Mt Somers Station, and they have been a godsend, and the race is now run entirely from the station. David and Kate have been so good to us.

We now have a marquee there on the terrace that overlooks the start and finish line. One of our major sponsors said they would support us if we sponsored Ronald McDonald House South Island as many of our members in the Selwyn Community and beyond need their assistance when they have sick children who need to stay in hospital.”

The mountain bike challenge caters for various levels of ability from older people to children — runners and walkers with seven events in total and a meal provided with the entry fee.

“We are thrilled and grateful that the Mayfield and Districts Lions Club continue to support Ronald McDonald House South Island with the Mt Somers Mountain Challenge.

“This event has been supporting families who stay at Ronald McDonald House in Christchurch since 2014. In 2019, 1,281 families stayed at Ronald McDonald House South Island’s Christchurch House and Southland Hospital Family Room.

The money raised at this event goes a long way to ensuring we can continue to provide free accommodation for families while their child is undergoing medical treatment.”

To sign up for the challenge go to mtsomersmc.nz.