One of the most heart warming stories around this year’s epay Silver Fern Rally which traverses the South Island from 8-15 November involves the family of a rally driver not even competing in the event.
Queenstown businessman John MacDonald is a rally enthusiast who as a young man competed out of Nelson for several seasons winning the 1979 National Novice Title. However a short time after that achievement he put rallying on the backburner and concentrated on business.
However turning 50 is often a catalyst to re-evaluate your life and as that milestone ticked past John purchased a Mazda RX7 which he has since used to compete in events such as the Coronet Peak Hillclimb and the Rally Of Otago.
John has also endured three cancers but is now in remission but his illnesses have meant that in the past he has entered the Silver Fern but never competed. However he is considered a good friend of the event and has provided plenty of support when he has been able.
The fact that John has fought cancer is particularly poignant as two others from the Silver Fern Rally community, Willie Rutherford and 2010 winner Andrew Grundy, have lost their lives to cancer and in fact both will be remembered in stages named after them this year.
John’s daughter Hannah is raising money for the ‘Relay For Life’ event in Timaru next March and is shaving her head to raise money. Hannah is aiming for $10,000 and will be collecting at the finish area of the 2014 epay Silver Fern Rally in Queenstown on Saturday 15 November from 3pm.
Rally organisers are more than happy to support Hannah in her efforts as the Silver Fern’s chosen charity, supporting its rally family and the Cancer Society collection which is a very pertinent one as it relates to John, Willie and Andrew.
Competitors and teams at the finish of the event will be asked to support the cause and more information can be found at http://www.fundraiseonline.co.nz/HannahsShaveforCancer