About the Muster
How it started
From little things...
The ambulance ride with their tiny, two-month premature baby, Troy, from the private hospital where he was born to the nearby Intensive Care Unit at Cairns Hospital may have been brief, but it was a journey that Wayne and Rhonda Leonard will never forget.
Twenty years later, it spurred the burly Harley-Davidson Motorcycles dealer and his wife to accept the challenge of organising a fundraising ride for the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation to help buy a special Paediatric Transport Cot for Cairns Hospital.
The first Wayne Leonard’s Motorcycle Muster, from Cairns to Townsville, in 2002, raised more than $19,000 – enough to enable the Foundation to go ahead and buy the high-tech cot, which included a monitoring and resuscitation system.
Designed to transport critically ill and pre-term infants, the cot has helped save the lives of countless babies born in Far North Queensland during the past decade: retrieving them from remote communities and/or ferrying them between hospitals as far south as Brisbane.
Since the first ride to Townsville, the Wayne Leonard’s Motorcycle Muster has conducted annual fundraising expeditions to a range of scenic locations, including Magnetic Island, Mission Beach, Port Douglas, Cooktown and Undara.
The number of motorcyclists who participate in the Muster has more than doubled, with an average of 75 riders revving up each year for the event.
What it has achieved
Investing in the future health of Far North Queenslanders
Since 30 motorcycle riders revved their engines and set off on the first Wayne Leonard’s Motorcycle Muster in 2002, the annual event has raised a total of more than $732,729 for the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation.
Based in the Far North, all funds raised by the Hospital Foundation are spent on improving health care services for people who live in this region.
As one of the charity’s premier fundraising events, the Motorcycle Muster has generated enough money to contribute about $100,000 towards the $1.2 million Paediatric Playground Project, which created a state-of-the-art playground for young patients in Cairns Hospital in 2015.
The Muster also has enabled the Hospital Foundation to buy a range of vital health equipment for Cairns Hospital, including:
- A Paediatric Transport Cot, including a monitoring and resuscitation system, designed to transport critically ill and/or pre-term babies
- A vacuum-assisted wound closure system: an advanced form of wound dressing which improves healing by using vacuum-assisted drainage to remove blood and other fluids that can cause infection
- Vital patient monitoring equipment for the Emergency Department
- A special humidicrib, known as a Giraffe Omnibed, which is designed to enable medical staff easier access to the baby inside to conduct tests and care for the infant
- Paediatric Playground Project – the Muster has raised more than $120,000 towards this project
- A portable fast scanner/ultrasound machine for Emergency Department at Cairns Hospital.