SEVEN-YEAR-OLD Melville lad Duke Storer is the highest solo fundraiser in this year’s HBF Run for a Reason – raising more than $10,000 for Cystic Fibrosis WA – and has been honoured at a special school assembly.
After a three-year cov id break, this year’s Run for a Reason attracted 33,100 participants who raised more than $1.2 million for Australian charities.
Duke’s mum Rebecca says her son was inspired to do the Run after a play date with four-year-old Molly, who has cystic fibrosis.
“Duke had been on at me for months to enrol him in the HBF run,” Rebecca said.
“When I explained to him that you run for a cause, he decided he wanted to run for Molly.”
Once he was given the green light from mum, Duke got to work – designing a poster and launching his fundraising campaign.
Amazingly, in the first four hours he already had $800 in donations.
“He was overwhelmed by the response he got. I work at the school and at lunchtime he would come running over to check the numbers. It did take over his life for a bit,” Rebecca said.
Soon family, friends and Facebook friends-of-friends were supporting Duke’s fundraising run, along with staff at his dad’s work, Patrick Terminals in Fremantle, where Molly’s mum Jess Willis also works.
Sibling rivalry soon kicked in and Duke was quickly joined on the run by his five-year-old sister Madelene.
Molly cheered on as Duke and his younger sister crossed the finish line at the end of the 4km course with a time of 27 minutes on Sunday May 21.
“The most rewarding moment for Duke was seeing Molly at the finish line,” Rebecca said.
As recognition of his fundraising efforts, Rachel Clifton from Cystic Fibrosis WA attended Duke’s school assembly at Melville Primary School last Friday to give a personal thank you.
But Duke isn’t resting on his laurels and is already planning to set a new personal best in next year’s Run for a Reason.
Since its launch in 2009, Run for a Reason has raised more than $11 million for 220 health charities.