Going it alone for a cause

QUEANBEYAN man Jason McDonald knows when it comes to fundraising it pays to stand out.

The 44-year-old public servant has registered to complete next weekend's Queanbeyan Relay for Life solo. He's committed himself to doing laps of Seiffert Oval for the duration of the 24-hour event. It's a challenge he's called 'Just Some Guy verse the Relay for Life'.

"I really don't know what's going to happen but I'm looking forward to it. It's going to be good," Mr McDonald said.

"I don't think I'll sleep, I'll leave sleeping out. What I hope to do is to walk for 45 to 50 minutes each hour and then have 10 minutes off just to rest. I'll eat on the run to refuel and as far as the toilet goes, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it."

To keep things interesting, Mr McDonald came up with a few novel ways to get people to hand over their cash.

He set up "sponsorship packages" where for a fee people can choose what he wears during the event to what music will be playing through his earphones.

Everything comes at a price and if people expect him to endure an hour of Miley Cyrus on repeat, it will cost them. Same goes with donning any other football jersey apart from a Parramatta Eels' one.

"I think you've got to try and be a little bit different. I think you have to stand out and that's what I tried to do," Mr McDonald said.

"Rather than just say 'give me money' or 'make a donation', I wanted to make it fun and make people feel like they were part of it too."

The public servant said if he reaches his goal of $2500 he will shave off his hair. If that increases to $4000, he will go beardless - a first for him since 1989.

Initially motivated by the physical challenge of walking for 24 hours, Mr McDonald registered for the Relay for Life on a whim but it has grown into something much bigger.

It's a chance for him to support his family members who have been affected by cancer including his partner  who is battling the disease for a third time.

"Originally it was for the challenge ... I've been on a weight loss thing and despite how it may appear I've lost quite a bit of weight," he said.

"It was one of those things where I thought 'I could do that'. That flippant attitude lasted about a week until I realised this is actually a big deal.

"I buy raffle tickets and donate when I feel like it but this is something where I could raise a reasonable amount of money.

"It's become quite emotional for me ... now I'm doing it for awareness and to raise money."

The Queanbeyan Relay for Life will be held at Seiffert Oval from Saturday, February 15 - Sunday, February 16. To support Jason McDonald visit http://www.facebook.com/justsomeguywalking


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