by Rachael Comer

Gavin Barker is preparing to drive home his fundraising efforts.
The 1977 Mini Clubman owner, of Timaru, will leave town tomorrow to take part in the Pork Pie Charity Run, his third time on the journey, which raises money for the KidsCan Charitable Trust.
Mr Barker said he had raised about $10,000 in his time with the event, and it was something he felt benefited the community.
“It gives something back to the community and in a fun way,” Mr Barker said.
“It’s extra amazing, as it is for Kiwi children.”
KidsCan meets the physical and nutritional needs of children throughout the country who are less fortunate than others.
The charity provides food, clothing and basic healthcare in schools to enable disadvantaged children to be more engaged in their education and reach their full potential.
In South Canterbury, Oceanview Heights School and Arowhenua Maori School benefit from the charity.
For the charity run, in its fifth year, 60 Minis will muster on Good Friday in Kaitaia, where they will leave for six days and seven nights on the road to Invercargill.
Mr Barker got involved with the charity run because he wanted to give back to the community.
“You are obliged to raise a minimum of $1000 for the charity and it’s up to us to run the car and expenses over the run.”
He had raised his funds through paid advertising on the car, and “shaking a bucket” at destinations along the way, he said.
“It’s always a lot of fun and you have people coming out to stand at their gate and wave to us.
“It’s a nice, iconic car which people always love.
“It’s also amazing when you’re travelling the amount of people that donate.”
Mr Barker will travel with a co-driver, who he will pick up in Christchurch.
“He’s never done the run before and he’s very excited.”
From his previous charity runs, Mr Barker has learnt a few handy hints for getting through the six days on the road.
“It’s always well worth stopping every hour and stretching your legs.
“Also, apples are a great thing to take in the car to keep you awake.”
Oceanview Heights School principal Sandi Abel said the school clearly saw the benefits of the run.
“KidsCan is very beneficial to our school through beanies and waterproof trousers.
“We also get tissues, pottles of fruit and scroggin.”
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