Sydney Airport’s second annual Runway Run this morning launched the 2016 Sydney Airport Community Christmas Giving Appeal in partnership with Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC).
Dressed in iconic Ronald McDonald inspired red wigs and stripy socks, 115 members of the public competed in heats on the airfield, framed by the iconic Sydney skyline and aircraft movements.
For the first time the event was open to members of the public, who collectively raised $11,500 to kick off the campaign to support sick children and their families away from home this Christmas.
“I was delighted to see enthusiastic and competitive runners of all ages and abilities take part in the race to launch our annual Christmas Appeal,” Sydney Airport Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Kerrie Mather said.
“Families, friends and special guest athletes gave it their all, while raising funds for Ronald McDonald House Charities.”
The first race was a brilliant display of athleticism, with team members from the gold medal-winning Australian Women’s Rugby Sevens team and the foundation Greater Western Sydney Giants women’s team setting a high bar for competitors. Sydney Airport is very proud to be a partner with both of these amazing teams.
The colourful run was won by Dave Chalmers who was crowned the 2016 Sydney Airport Runway Run Champion with a record time of 29.78 seconds.
Over the next seven weeks, Sydney Airport will host events, activations, a Volkswagen Polo Beats car raffle, collection boxes and merchandise sales to raise money for RMHC.
“Sydney Airport is proud to host this annual Appeal and work with our partners here at the airport to foster the Christmas spirit and raise funds for those in our community who need it most,” Ms Mather said.
“We’re bringing together 29,000 staff working across 800 businesses at Sydney Airport, along with passengers and the local community, to help make a difference this Christmas.”
Ronald McDonald House Charities Australia Director Carolyn Townsend thanked Sydney Airport for its support.
“Ronald McDonald House Charities is once again honoured to partner with the Sydney Airport Community Christmas Giving Appeal,” Ms Townsend said.
“We’re thrilled the public rallied behind the Runway Run, which was such a unique opportunity to launch the appeal.
“It’s given us a great start to the next seven weeks of fundraising to support seriously ill children and their families.”
In another first, Sydney Airport and RMHC will host a VIP Hangar Dinner on Thursday, 8 December with the support of Hawker Pacific. Long-term partner Rotary is also generously donating proceeds of their collection bins at the airport for the duration of the campaign and RMHC pop-up merchandise stations will be across each terminal.
Beautiful Christmas decorations, including a Sydney themed Christmas tree, is also bringing the festive season alive.
The Sydney Airport Community Christmas Giving Appeal was launched in 2012 and has raised $800,000 for charity over the past four years.
Ronald McDonald House Charities is a not-for-profit organisation providing services and support to families whose children are receiving treatment for serious illness at 16 Houses across Australia.
Funds raised through the Sydney Airport Community Christmas Giving Appeal will be dedicated to Randwick House near the airport and Westmead House.