29 Oct | 2012
David Smith, Pete’s niece Krista, Anne Chadwick, Pete Stephens, Ross Richards and Pete’s brother Paul at the Hope Centre.
Despite being new to cycling, Aucklander Pete Stephens has ridden 700 km from Auckland to Wellington to raise money for Salvation Army Community Ministries.
In the 1940s, Pete’s father spent six years at The Salvation Army’s now closed Hodderville Boys Home near Putaruru before being reunited with his mother.
Pete says The Salvation Army played an important role in his father’s formative years, helping guide and educate the boy who would later become the much-loved father of four children.
‘I wouldn’t be who I am today if it wasn’t for Dad, and he wouldn’t be who he is if it wasn’t for The Salvation Army,’ says Pete. ‘So it’s finally paying the Army back for looking after him.’
So far Pete has raised $3,500 which will be used by Community Ministries to help free families from the cycle of poverty. His employer, Diamond Galleria, will donate $1 for every $2 raised to a maximum of $10,000.
‘Friends and family chipped in for petrol, food and accommodation, so every cent raised will go to the people who need it, not to expenses for the ride,’ says Pete.
His seven-day journey took him from Auckland down through the central North Island to Wellington getting welcome support along the way from Manukau, Hamilton, Taupo, Palmerston North and Kapiti Salvation Army centres.
Riding along with Pete were his mentor, South Auckland Community Ministries service manager and keen cyclist Ross Richards, and his sister Anne Chadwick, with Salvation Army Central Public Relations Coordinator David Smith joining them from Waiouru.
‘Finishing the ride at the Hope Centre in Wellington was particularly pertinent because of the work they do,’ says Pete. ‘The face-to-face contact Salvation Army centres have with Kiwis in need was our greatest motivator.’
Follow Pete’s progress as he plans for his next ride for charity at http://www.facebook.com/pete.stephens.319