Mini challenge a giant fundraiser


Bob Croy likes to do his bit for the Cancer Society. He grows daffodils for its annual appeal and collects money on Daffodil Day. But after completing this year’s Relay for Life he wanted to do something bigger.

His idea though was mini. A 1975 Morris Mini Mark 3, to be precise.

Bob says he and three friends were sitting around a café table drinking coffee after this year’s Relay for Life, having raised more than $2500 for the charity. But seeing another group raise more than $6000 got their competitive juices going and he began to think about how they could top it for the 2014 event. “I thought ‘how the hell can I beat that?’”

The idea of restoring a mini like brand new soon followed and in March Bob shook hands with a reluctant seller and purchased the Mini for him and his mates to restore before raffling it off. The plan was to raise $10,000 but with offers of help coming from all over the region Bob reckons they’ll smash that total. “I think that estimate will be very light,” he grins.

The four mates – all from Wakefield – all have a passion for helping people with cancer. They have all seen its effects up close, so were keen to make sure the Mini raffle was done right and soon after starting their project they had offers of support from panel beaters, car painters and auto electrians. Bowater Motor Group also found out about the project and came on board as a sponsor, supplying every brand new part for free.

Bob says the support was overwhelming. “When we started my wife and I were going to pay for it all and when the raffle finished pay ourselves back and hoped there would be $10,000 at the end of it. But with everyone coming on board we don’t have to do that, it’s really good.”

The mini has been stripped down to every last part and was recently sandblasted. The engine will be rebored and the car will be painted bright yellow. The only thing that will not be standard will be tyres and mags.

“We hope to have it finished by June next year, then we’ll cart it around and sell raffle tickets.”

Among those volunteering their time to work on the car are Tony Johnson from Sun City Panel and Paint, Nick Harrison, John Ross and the three other originals, John Bruce, Dal Stewart and Colin Ryder. They plan to cart the Mini around on a trailer all over the top of the south.

Bob says with the team now in place he contacted Nelson Weekly to let the public know what’s going on.

“A lot of people don’t know about it. The people we’ve told have been right in behind us but the general public doesn’t really know so we want to get it out there.”

By this time next year, the bright yellow Mini will definitely be out there and Bob says he hopes it will make its mark not just for how it looks, but for how much money it raises.