All things with wheels come to Harlin

Harlin Hotel was the place to be on Saturday night 23 March for anyone who loves their bikes, trucks and classic cars. Pictures: SCOOTER DEE

The Jackson Hepner Foundation Memorial Drive welcomed local truckies, motorcyclists and all-round rev heads to come together and drive to raise money for cancer patients on Saturday 23 March.

Jackson’s mother Rachael Hepner said the event had a fantastic turnout with old and new faces joining in the drive from Archerfield Falls to Harlin Hotel.

“Each year it’s definitely growing, quite rapidly I would say,” Mrs Hepner said.

“For the first time we had six or eight huge, big trucks like Mack trucks and freight trucks.

“A lot of cars rigged out with flags have gone and got their own flags done.

“It was huge, we even had an aeroplane land at the airfield as well through the course of the morning.”

Now in it’s fourth year, the JHF Memorial Drive raises funds to create hampers for people recently diagnosed with cancer.

“Jackson had his own cancer battle for multiple years with multiple relapses and lots of treatment, surgeries, cancer protocols and chemo radiation,” Mrs Hepner said.

“We had noticed there was a big void in resources for his age group.

“As hard as it’s been as a family, Mitch [Jackson’s father], Rylee [his sister] and I decided we wanted to do something in his honour and started the Jackson Hepner Foundation.”

Mrs Hepner said JHF customised hampers, personally shopping for items and delivering them to families.

“We raise money for the hampers and we fill them up with visa cards, Uber Eats vouchers, some of the hampers range anywhere from about $500 to $1,500 a hamper,” she said.

Mrs Hepner said Jackson loved his cars, bikes and ‘anything with wheels’.

“Seeing these really big trucks roll in, that was something pretty special and I had a big lump, a few tears as well,” she said.

“With the cost of fuel for everyone these days, and to have hundreds and hundreds of cars to turn up, it was really appreciated.

“He would have been in his absolute element had he been here to witness that.”

Mrs Hepner said she, Mitch and Rylee gave ‘the biggest thanks’ to everyone who supported the cause.

“Big thanks to the Harlin publicans Jacqui and Rhys and their staff, and to our volunteers and sponsors who cam on board for the day, and to the people who support the cause with the live music and pig races,” she said.

“We had a couple of spots of rain but that didn’t have anyone shy away from dancing, and that was a nice way to unwind and finish the night off.

“Our family truly appreciate, given times are tough for a lot of people, that they do come out and attend our event and not only helping us honour and remember Jackson but also to help people when they’re faced with a cancer diagnosis.”