In the first event of its kind at a major Australian airport, Sydney Airport briefly closed its 16L 34R runway, with planes making way for appeal volunteers, supporters and staff to dash down the tarmac.
The unique and fun event attracted close to 100 participants sprinting 500 metres down the runway in colourful RMHC themed wigs, shirts and socks as aircraft landed and departed in the background.
One of them was Sydney Airport’s managing director and chief executive officer, Kerrie Mather, alongside celebrity guests that included athlete Jana Pittman; Australian Women’s Rugby Sevens player, Laura Waldiem and Ronald McDonald himself.
“It’s great to see so many people take this unique opportunity to run down Sydney Airport’s runway to raise awareness of our Community Christmas Giving Appeal,” said Mather.
“We’re encouraging the airport community and the travelling public to get involved and give generously to the appeal. All funds raised will be distributed across RMHC’s 16 Houses helping seriously ill children, including Ronald McDonald House Randwick near the airport to assist with the upgrade of the family ‘rest and reflect’ area.”
Sydney Airport’s Community Christmas Giving Appeal is held every year in the six weeks leading up to Christmas and features a range of events, activations and entertainment.
They include a raffle in Terminal 2 for a Volkswagen car; a VIP Hangar Lunch – with the support of Hawker Pacific on December 11 – and rotary collection bins at the airport dedicated to RMHC for the duration of the appeal.
Launched in 2012, the Sydney Airport Community Christmas Giving Appeal has raised more than half a million dollars for charity over the past three years.
Sydney Airport contributed A$10,000 to RMHC to kick off this year’s appeal, in addition to providing facilitation and support.