When Vawdrey’s in-house paint shop received the order to cover the 13.7 metre chassis in Barbie-pink, even long-serving staff hesitated – not commencing until area manager Iain Kelly verified the choice. “It was the first-ever Vawdrey to be coloured pink,” Iain recalls. “So the staff suspected a mistake.”
Despite all hesitation, Kelly authorised the final work step; and in December, the pink semi trailer left Vawdrey’s state-of-the-art facility in Dandenong to turn heads all around Australia. Showcasing the logos of 31 sponsors, the Titeliner “looks like a V8-supercar,” says Mark Thompson, managing director of Thompson Transport based in Dubbo, NSW. “And it will arouse as much attention.”
After commissioning the curtain sided vehicle from Vawdrey Trailers, Thompson dedicated the trailer to the McGrath Foundation, using the official logos and colours. The trailer will remain in McGrath Foundation pink for its working life, and be used for future fundraising initiatives.
For now, 31 sponsors have pledged to raise $130,000 within three years. “But the project is not yet finished,” Mark says. “There is still space to fit in additional partners, and I will keep encouraging people to join us. 100 percent of the money will go to the McGrath Foundation,” says Mark, hoping that the loud pink “will draw attention to an omnipresent threat.”
After a fundraising event in March 2010 brothers Steven and Mark Thompson decided to advance the company’s social commitment and launch a project that would promote the ‘Breast Aware’ program throughout Australia. “The Thompson family has experienced the fatal diagnosis a number of times,” says Steven Thompson, who has become an outspoken advocate for improved services for breast cancer and greater education for younger women around breast awareness. “The time has come to act in public.”
In Paul Vawdrey Thompson Transport found a reliable ally who did not hesitate to reach out his hand. “I wanted to contribute something,” he says. “So I booked a flight to Dubbo and met Steven and Mark. As a father of two, I am aware of the risk women face; so we did not lose time making a plan.” Due to Vawdrey’s ties, the trio convinced three Platinum Sponsors to join the project. Michelin, BPW Transpec, and Alcoa answered Vawdrey’s call.
“Paul Vawdrey has set the ball rolling,” says Steven Thompson. “He’s a remarkable personality; and moreover quite persuasive.”
Michelin’s Tim Wailes, for instance, joined the project upon Vawdrey’s recommendation. “Michelin is alive to the importance of social responsibility,” he says. “So we decided to provide tyres and become a Platinum Sponsor.”
Altogether, seven Platinum Sponsors have financed “Project Pink” to date. In addition, 24 sponsors followed the Thompons’ calling.
Featuring Platinum Sponsors Vawdrey, Michelin, BPW Transpec, Alcoa, Rice Graphics and Volvo, the first pink Titeliner in Vawdrey’s company history will not be a mere show vehicle, but commence work on Australia’s roads in 2011. It will cart general freight from Dubbo to Brisbane, Sydney, and Melbourne – rolling on 22.5” Michelin tyres fitted to high gloss polished Alcoa rims. As all Platinum sponsors are showcased on the back doors, Iain Kelly recommended the installation of media doors to waive the central lock rod. Oversize mud flaps display the Vawdrey logo, whilst white fenders form a contrast to the vibrant chassis.
The eye-catching trailer will not only cart produce, but also feature at charity events throughout the country. “In 2011, it will be displayed at the Dubbo Turf Club and promote the Pink Pigeon Race in Trangie,” Mark reveals.
“Thompson Transport will make sure that Jane McGrath’s philosophy will be spread all around Australia.”
The McGrath Foundation was originally founded by Australian cricket player, Glenn McGrath, and his wife, Jane McGrath in 2002, following Jane’s initial diagnosis from breast cancer. The McGrath Foundation is a breast cancer support and education charity, funding McGrath Breast Care Nurses in communities right across Australia as well as educating young women to be breast aware.
As Glenn McGrath was born in Dubbo, local family business Thompson Transport decided to support the cricketing hero without hesitation. “The Thompson family feels obliged to help,” says Mark, who is managing the established company alongside Steven. True to the company’s ambition to grow continuously, ‘Project Pink’ is growing as well. “We are holding out for additional sponsors,” says Mark Thompson. “Even if we need to add another trailer.”
Inland Container Terminals
InnoVent Event & Marketing
GH Cole & Son
Western Star Trucks
Frank Cross Tyres
JR Richard & Sons
Australian Road Transport Academy
Dubbo City Toyota & Lexus
Ratcliff Transport Spares
Ben Furney Flour Mills
Dubbo Tyres & Batteries
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