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Footsteps for Food: Chimu Relationship Manager, James McAlloon sets out on epic fundraising trek across Australia.

July 2, 2020 Accolades No Comments Email Email

Early this morning, Chimu Adventures’ QLD Relationship Manager, James McAlloon set off from Alexandra Headlands Beach on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast on an epic trek to Bunbury, Western Australia. The ambitious project, titled Footsteps for Food, is raising money for South American communities devastated by the loss of tourism due to COVID-19.

To coincide with the commencement of McAlloon’s journey, Latin America and Polar Travel Specialists, Chimu Adventures have announced they will be providing a trip to Antarctica as the winning prize in a raffle to raise money for Footsteps for Food. Tickets in the raffle will cost $40, the equivalent approximate amount of money required to feed a family of four for a week in many of the worst affected areas in South America. All proceeds from the raffle will go directly to Footsteps for Food.

While Australia has managed to avoid the most devastating impacts of COVID-19, South American communities have not been so fortunate. South America is now the epicentre of coronavirus cases, and where the disastrous health impacts of this pandemic are felt, so too is the economic fallout the greatest. With as many as 70% of the population living hand to mouth, the future for these nations is very uncertain.

In April 2020, as the situation in South America deteriorated, Chimu’s management did a shout out to their teams to see if anyone had any fundraising ideas? James McAlloon suggested he walk across the entirety of Australia and try to raise tens of thousands for the hardest hit.

“This journey has been on my radar for some time. That said, I didn’t intend to tackle it for a few years, or for charity to be honest. I just wanted to test myself. But people are suffering in our industry, worse than me and that kills me, it seemed fitting that I put myself in a more vulnerable position, in the honour of those who have lost so much more and try to raise funds to support them. Said James McAlloon, Chimu’s Relationship Manager to Queensland.

Footsteps for Food will take McAlloon across some of the harshest landscapes Australia has to offer. Averaging 40km per day, the equivalent to a marathon, McAlloon has set out south-west from Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, across the Great Dividing Range to Port Augusta, South Australia. He will then walk across Australia’s endlessly arid interior via the famous Nullarbor Plain. McAlloon will arrive months later on the West Australian coast. Along the way, McAlloon will be driving fundraising efforts throughout the towns that he visits and via social media.

Although McAlloon will have to face the enduring trek alone, he has created a small army of supporters to help drive him on. One such supporter, legendary elite endurance athlete, Kurt Fearnley, AO, even took the time to send James a personal video of encouragement before his departure.

With current border closures still in place, and a precise timeline of border restrictions easing unavailable for some states, the route James McAlloon has on the radar may need a rework. James will assess the situation as he proceeds, which may result in alterations to the original plan, based on border restrictions at the time.

“After watching a documentary on SBS called When the tourists leave based around the devastation of the communities around Machu Picchu, I knew I had to do something. Borders are the least of my worries.  I’ll walk around and around in circles if I have to, the aim here is to complete footsteps for food, that is my ultimate pledge.” Said McAlloon.

Chimu’s Charity, Mad Project will manage all donations made to the journey.

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