After a football accident resulted in a serious spinal cord injury at the age of 16, co-founder Matt Pierri spent quite a bit of time in recovery. With the support of his family, he was fortunate enough to have access to some of the best physical therapy treatments available.
It was during Matt’s time in rehabilitation, and getting used to his new wheelchair, that he realised not all Australians were as lucky.
Dozens of conversations and brainstorming sessions later with four like-minded school friends, Wheels in Motion was born.
The charity was created to improve the quality of life for people living with spinal cord injuries in Australia in two key ways:
- To raise money for rehabilitation services and equipment for those without the financial ability to access it, and;
- To mainstream disability and challenge society’s perception of people with spinal cord injuries (SCIs)
Running their first event in 2015, The Rooftop Raiser, was a bit of a learning curve for these Aussie guys. Operating on a lean budget and still trying to establish themselves as a fully operational charity, the founders did a lot of the heavy lifting themselves.
Little brothers served beer and parents passed around canapes, but the event was a major success raising over $18,000. Quite the achievement for an event in its first year and only marketed through word of mouth.
With a fundraising target of $30,000 for the 2016 event, The Laneway Launch, the boys had to call for backup.
Uber Eats, Stone & Wood, and The Flying Duck were just a few of the companies that donated to fundraiser to make the event one to remember.
Sidekicker was another.
Having used Sidekicker for previous private events, co-founder Will Kitchen approached us to see if we would like to make a contribution to the cause.
Knowing how important great staff is to the success of any event, Sidekicker offered up four of our best hospitality Sidekicks to serve food and drinks. Wheels in Motion then hired an additional three Sidekicks to help out at the event.
“It was important to us that this event was run smoothly and by the book. We were able to secure a liquor license for the fundraiser, so it was crucial that all staff had an RSA. It was great not to have to worry about those details, since Sidekicker only supplies hospitality staff with current certifications.” – Will Kitchen, Co-founder
The extra hands on deck were certainly needed, as 300 tickets were sold to friends, family and colleagues of the five founders.
Smiling supporters filled out the Windsor venue on a sunny Saturday afternoon and helped the charity raise an impressive $45,000. They have certainly set the benchmark for next year’s target.
What’s next for Wheels in Motion?
With two annual fundraisers under their belt, are there any plans to introduce additional events into the 2017 calendar?
“We’re planning to introduce a few different avenues to raising awareness next year. From Q & A sessions to putting together teams for fun runs, we are hoping you’ll be seeing a lot more of Wheels in Motion.”
When asked if they would use Sidekicker again, there was no hesitation from Kitchen. “We will 100% be using Sidekicker again. It’s the easiest way to get staff when you need it.”
Visit the Wheels in Motion website to find out how you can get involved.