In 1981 the Kiwi comedy ‘Goodbye Pork Pie’ hit our screens, a chaotic cross-country escapade following two blokes in a stolen Mini with the cops hot on their tail. Today, that film is the inspiration for KidsCan’s biggest fundraiser, the Pork Pie Charity Run. It sees 50 intrepid teams of Mini lovers retrace their epic 2500 km journey from Northland to Southland, raising money for charity along the way. This year’s run raised an incredible $417,129.
All manner of Minis take part, including a Mini Mack truck, a Mini stretch limo, and a Mini missing its bonnet, boot and lights - a homage to the movie’s final scenes as the car limps into Invercargill. Some date back to the 1960s, and while steering columns, clutches and gaskets regularly gave up the ghost, every team made it to the finish line.
Special mention goes to Team Plumber Dan, whose Mini didn’t even have a roof. In the 2021 event, Whanganui’s Daniel Goldsworthy struggled to fold his tall frame into a low Stretch V6 Mini - so this time he just took the roof off. With his uncle, David McBeth, he travelled the length of the country totally exposed to the wind, rain and sun. “It makes you feel alive!” David said.
The teams smashed their target of $325,000 with a huge variety of creative fundraisers. Two teams - The Bonodley’s and Humble Pie - leveraged their business connections to raise over $45,000 each. Rick from Team Toxic Green busked his way down the country. The Rawene Roquettes rallied their tiny town of 500 by selling subscriptions to a newsletter about their roadie. Plumber Dan even sold his beloved double-ended Mini for $16,000. "It had a bit of sentimental value, but KidsCan needs it more than I do," he said.
The youngest driver was 16-year-old Blake Ryburn, who took his very own 1974 Mini with his Dad Sam in the passenger seat. As a student, Blake sees the difference his fundraising will make: ”I know numerous families who need more than others and it means a lot that I can give back to the kids, give it to people who need it the most.”
The children KidsCan supports were constantly on the minds of Team DILLIGAF, Nick and Karen Herrold. “We took the Mini to visit the kids at View Road School in Waiuku and it was quite emotional!” Karen said. “It was humbling to know that these are some of the children we're helping. We took a photo of the Mini with the kids around it, and we’ve got it on our back windows, so we feel like the kids are coming with us." They delighted the children at Paihia School and Hokitika Primary, two KidsCan partner schools, with special visits.
Our heartfelt thanks to all the teams and to the fabulous organising committee of Keri, Kev, Pete, Mike and Barbara. You’re making a major difference to the lives of children in poverty when they need it most. Thank you for being there.