Anzac Day, 25 April is a busy day in the Ulysses Canterbury calendar. Many of our members attend the dawn service and then go on to our biggest fundraising event of the year - the St John Ambulance Services Anzac Day Ride. While over the course of the year we raise funds for St John in the branch with various raffles, and with our weekly sausage sizzle in the summer months at Avon City Motorcycles, the Anzac Day Ride provides the major source of funds.
Gathering at South City Shopping Centre car park, Ulysses club members lead a ride out to Little River, where there is a sausage sizzle and the drawing of raffle tickets for various prizes, supplied by generous donations from our local motorcycle dealers, other businesses, and members of the club.
For a small price participants can purchase a ride badge, tickets for the raffles, and of course a sausage or two and a hot or cold drink. All the money raised from the sale of these is donated to St Johns; nothing is kept in the club.
Why do we raise money for St Johns? Well simply if things go wrong while we are out on a ride these are the folks that attend the injured, provide on the spot care and transport them to medical services.
Unfortunately St John are not fully funded by the government. Contracts with the Ministry of Health, ACC and District Health Boards fund just under 80% of the direct operating costs. The shortfall is made up from the payment of part charges, community donations, fundraising and revenue from their commercial activities. Thus our fundraising efforts are an essential part of maintaining the wonderful services St John provide.