Cristy Burne

Author, editor, science writer

Kid power: walking for Telethon

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This weekend is Telethon 2018! The perfect time to reprint this inspiring story about Scott Guerini, an ordinary kid who raises thousands of dollars every year for WA’s favourite fundraiser.

Marathon fundraiser

By Cristy Burne

Scott aged 4.jpg

Scott was four when he started fundraising for Telethon.

In July 2017, Scott Guerini finished his fourth fundraising marathon, launched his own book, and won a grant to inspire more kids to make a difference in the world.

“I’ve got my own motto,” Scott explains. “‘It’s easy to make a difference, what can you do?’”

Scott was four when he learned about fundraising in kindy. “It got me thinking, and the hardest thing I could think of was to walk into town from our farm, so I did,” he explains.

He’s since raised over $125,000 for Telethon, a Western Australian charity that pays for research into children’s diseases.

Are we there yet?

The walk from Scott’s farm to the town of Southern Cross, WA, is 25 km. As a four-year-old, he had to ask his parents every morning for two weeks before they’d let him try.

Scott’s mum, Nicole Guerini, remembers: “We said ‘no, it’s too far, you’re too little.’ It seemed like a really crazy idea, but he was really passionate about it.”

When they eventually said yes, Scott was ready. He finished the walk in eight hours and forty minutes, raising over $3000 for Telethon.

Scott has since completed a fundraising walk every year. He’s now 12, and finished his fourth marathon (42.195 km) on 15 July 2017, with a personal best time of eight hours and 45 minutes.

“My favourite marathon was when my little brother Damien walked it with me,” he says.

What’s it like to walk that far? “It’s painful, it’s also very painful,” Scott jokes. “It’s really a mental challenge.” Scott says knowing he’s helping sick kids and babies keeps him going.

Making a difference

Scott signing books at the launch.JPG

Scott hopes to raise more money from sales of his book, Did you know you can change the world, which was launched on 26 July 2017. Scott started writing and illustrating the book in January, but it became reality after Scott received an unexpected phone call from Terry and Dixie Prindiville.

Scott says: “I’d been talking about what I was doing on the radio, and they were listening. They just rang us up and said they wanted to help.”

The Prindivilles donated the money for Scott’s book to be printed, “so all proceeds from book sales can go directly to Telethon,” he explains.

Scott designed his book to be interactive and inspiring. “I deliberately chose non-glossy paper, so people can write in their own ideas.”

Spreading the word

In 2017 Scott won a $5,700 grant to run interactive workshops for kids in the October school holidays. Each workshop used Scott’s book to inspire participants to create an artwork about how they can change the world.

Mrs Guerini encourages other parents to let their children try “crazy” fundraising ideas.

“It’s led to this snowball effect,” she says. “That kind of money [$125,000] can create a real difference.”

This article first appeared in Crinkling News.

Thanks to Scott’s Great Walk for the photos–and the inspiration.

Author: cristyburne

Author: http://www.cristyburne.com

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