A man who has spent 15 years raising money for an Australian child protection organisation has described his visit to Carinity’s school in Townsville as one of his best days as a fundraiser.
Claude Harvey has raised $1.6 million for Bravehearts, which works to prevent child sexual assault.
Nicknamed “The Mower Man”, he visited Shalom Christian College on Wednesday to speak to students about Bravehearts and what inspires him to raise money by pushing his lawnmower around Australia.
At a special gathering at the school, the former lawnmower salesman answered questions from the children before student leaders donated around $250 to Bravehearts on behalf of the school.
The money was raised by the school community and staff as well as from gold coin donations by students.
Students also happily did a lap of the school campus with Claude as he pushed his trademark lawnmower.
“I was so touched and I will remember this morning for ever,” Claude later said.
Claude’s visit to Shalom Christian College was one of his last stops on a 38-day fundraising trek from the Sunshine Coast to Townsville.
“Claude said it was one of the best school visits he had ever done,” Shalom Christian College Principal Sharyn Ive says.
On his most recent fundraising journey Claude also stopped into towns such as Gladstone, Calliope, Biloela, Emerald, Longreach, Mt Isa, Winton, Cloncurry and Charters Towers.
In March, he visited Carinity Education Gladstone, one of Shalom Christian College’s sister schools, to accept a donation for $300.
The 76-year-old retiree from the Gold Coast travels around Australia five months each year raising money for Bravehearts.
In 2019 he was awarded an Order of Australia medal (OAM) in the Queen’s Birthday honours in recognition of his fundraising efforts.