Cambodia Building Project Fundraiser: Tour de French….Island

Salesian College, Chadstone

After being inspired by the fundraising efforts of year 12 boys Ryan Henderson and Ben McGuinness, it was decided by four brave staff members to come up with a fundraiser of our own…Tour de French.

Our mission: To raise enough money to purchase a solar panel for the Cambodia Building Project by the Term 3 school break. If the target amount was raised then we would kayak around French Island, the largest Island off the Coast of Victoria. On Friday 1 of November, Roslyn Aylward, Peter Birmingham and Thomas Dexter joined me in an epic adventure.

We were on the water at 6:00am, departing from Jam Jerrup and crossing the channel to French Island. Despite some challenging conditions (including Thomas forgetting to remove the 22 metres of electric tape he used to secure his rudder up for the transport down!), we were making good time on day one, and took advantage of the tail wind which led to us paddling a large section of the island by lunch. This is where our good luck ended. What came next was one and a half days of paddling against head winds and outward tides, one of us getting caught in a rip (sorry Thomas!), and Pete Birmingham nearly pitching his tent on an Echidna at the camp site.

After two days on the water and one sleepless night camping on French Island, we managed to cross back to Jam Jurrup at 5:00pm, and despite some close calls, we all made it back in one piece! I couldn’t be prouder of Ros, Pete and Thomas for completing this huge expedition. I am happy to say that we ended up raising over $1,000 towards this wonderful cause and we wish Ben and Ryan all the best with their trip to Cambodia at the end of the year.

Source: Salesian College

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