Double or nothing was Will Comisky’s catchcry as he prepared to ride again in the Mongol Derby – not only did he want to win a second time but he declared he would raise double the amount of last year’s effort.
A fortnight out from the starting gun firing and he was well down on his $30,000 target with $10,000 in the kitty for the Royal Flying Doctor Service, but a three-day conference in Longreach with 180 graziers changed all that.
Attendees at the Resource Consulting Services ExecutiveLink dinner last week responded to the call and raised a massive $22,500, thanks to the donation of goods and services by members for auction.
For example, a signed CD set donated by Longreach identity, John Hawkes went for $2000, while two days of Will’s labour was snapped up for $3100.
We could all see he's made a huge personal financial and physical sacrifice
“Will’s an RCS client and we could all see he’s made a huge personal financial and physical sacrifice to do this a second time,” RCS general manager David McLean said.
“ExecutiveLink fundraises for a cause close to clients so this fitted nicely.
“The RFDS is close to everyone, and it will always have an ongoing funding need.”
David said Will had made his renewed Mongol Derby attempt very real for conference attendees, bringing along the 5kg pack, which is all he’s allowed to carry on his 1000km race through Mongolia.
“Even when people are suffering and in drought, they want to support someone who is putting out,” he said.
The auction item donated by fellow RCS member, Joy McClymont, a 12 month subscription to the prize-winning Joy’s Fitness Hub, triggered a bidding frenzy, eventually being sold for $3750, but Joy’s involvement didn’t stop there.
The fitness guru has challenged her members to get fit and raise money for Will’s chosen charity at the same time.
“All you and your friends and family need to do is run, walk, ride, row or swim a short distance each day for 10 days and commit to donating a set amount to the RFDS,” Joy said. “Even if you only donate to a charity once a year, think of the RFDS as wherever we are in Australia they are there for every medical emergency.”
A good friend of Will’s needed airlifting from Cameron Corner last year, not long after he had returned from winning his first gruelling Mongol Derby and raising $15,000 for the RFDS.
“Will told us this cost nearly all that money to retrieve her, and that’s why he’s raised the stakes this time,” David McLean said.
Participants in the Mongol Derby Challenge can load up the distances they cover each day and keep up with Will’s journey at the same time.
Prizes will be awarded to individuals and teams achieving the most kilometres.
Both Will and Joy’s challengers will start on August 9.