Charity chariot to raise funds for Teen Challenge Victoria

By: Ricky French


An inspired partnership between Penske Commercial Vehicles, Larsen’s Truck Sales and not-for-profit organisation Teen Challenge Victoria aims to raise money to help young men struggling with drug and alcohol addiction.

 

The Western Star 4800FXB promises to attract plenty of eager raffle ticket buyers looking to secure what surely must be the best deal on wheels you’ll ever find

What would you say if you found out there was a way you could get your hands on a brand-new Western Star 4800FXB worth $300,000-plus for just $100? You might think it’s an April Fool’s Day. But the good news is this is no joke, thanks to an inspired partnership between Penske Commercial Vehicles, Larsen’s Truck Sales and not-for-profit organisation Teen Challenge Victoria.

The truck is the grand prize in a raffle, with the proceeds going to help young men struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. Your first chance to lay eyes on the truck will be at the Alexandra Truck, Ute and Rod Show on the Queen’s Birthday long-weekend, and the raffle will be drawn in December.

The Western Star 4800FXB needs no introduction. The popular workhorse – a true "trucker’s truck" - is famous for its versatility and reliability. This white model features a Detroit DD15 14.8-litre heavy-duty diesel engine with an Eaton AutoShift, and comes with a sleeper cab. It’ll be released for the first time at the truck show and promises to attract plenty of eager raffle ticket buyers looking to secure what surely must be the best deal on wheels you’ll ever find.

Life isn't always a highway

While the truck show is always a fun and colourful event, the purpose behind the raffle is deadly serious. It’s estimated there are 246 million drug users worldwide, and 457 million abusing alcohol. The personal toll is massive, as is the flow-on effect to their families. Lives and careers can be permanently ruined. It goes without saying that the transport industry – like any other industry - is no stranger to the destructive nature of drug and alcohol addiction.

Teen Challenge Victoria is based in Kyabram in country Victoria and was established in 1974 to provide long-term residential treatment for young men wanting to overcome addiction and other life controlling issues. The organisation’s vision is to help people put their lives back together and set them on the pathway to success. A collaborative effort always works best, and executive director Neil Meyer says the organisation couldn’t hope for better partners than Larsen’s Truck Sales and Penske Commercial Vehicles.

"David Larsen (managing director of Larsen’s Truck Sales) has been a friend and supporter of Teen Challenge Victoria for over 30 years. It was his inspiration to put his expertise in the trucking world behind an effort to raise funds to continue to serve the Victorian community with our rehabilitation programs. The Larsen family has decided they want to make a difference in young people’s lives," he says.

Teen Challenge Victoria has helped to open the door to a brighter future for a number of young people

Partnerships that deliver results

David Larsen says he’s always happy to support the work that Teen Challenge Victoria do, and that the issue of drug and alcohol dependency is one that’s close to his heart.

"Our family, like many other families, has been touched by alcohol abuse. It can leave families broken hearted. So it’s a cause that’s close to me," he says.

"Teen Challenge Victoria is a non-government organisation which is doing great work, and we’d love to sell as many tickets as possible and raise money to help them continue to run their successful programs. If we can raise money to help young men get their lives back on track that would be a huge result."

Larsen says he’s proud to be presenting the truck in conjunction with Penske Commercial Vehicles, the distributor of Western Star trucks. "Penske have a great commitment to giving back to the community and we’re very pleased to be raffling this truck in conjunction with them."

Randall Seymore, president of Penske Transportation Group International, is looking forward to December, when the lucky raffle winner will be presented with the truck. "The winner is in for a treat," he says. "The 4800FXB from Western Star is a serious truck with serious features. The versatility of this truck will seamlessly fit in to and transport application. With the Detroit DD15 engine under the hood it will make light work of any situation."

Seymore acknowledges that substance addiction is a huge issue for the community and says it’s critical young men affect get the support they need.

"Penske Australia is delighted to be involved, and help raise awareness and funds for Teen Challenge Victoria. They do amazing work and it’s an honour to partner with them for this great cause. I encourage everyone to buy a ticket for this raffle and support Teen Challenge Victoria," he says.

Famous for its versatility and reliability, The 4800FXB features a Detroit DD15 14.8-litre diesel engine with an Eaton AutoShift, and comes with a sleeper cab

Your chance to make a difference

For Neil Meyer this raffle is about hope. Hope that more young men can take control of their path and get back on the road. The fact the raffle prize is a powerful prime mover could be seen as a strong metaphor. You need to take the wheel and steer your own life in the right direction, but sometimes you also need help. "If everyone just does something we can achieve a lot. Overcoming issues in our society is not all about government handouts, it’s about individuals in our community deciding to make a difference in whatever way they can. This truck raffle is your opportunity to do something to make a difference," he says.

Teen Challenge Victoria has recently begun rollout of a world-class drug education seminar called #notevenonce. It’s an early intervention initiative that Meyer says is already making a difference in helping young people become resilient to the pressure from their peer group to try drugs.

"This seminar has measureable outcomes to change the attitudes of students in high schools to understand the negatives of taking up alcohol and drugs," according to Meyer.

For people purchasing tickets in the raffle, the next six months promises to be an exciting time. Remember, this is no Christmas hamper - this is a brand-new Western Star.

"Someone is going to drive away with this awesome machine," says Meyer. "It really will be a life-changer. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the industry or not, winning this Western Star will be something you will never forget. And every ticket will go towards changing the lives of young people, helping them escape the nightmare of addiction," he adds.

The message is clear: there’s more than one prize in this unique raffle. One person will win a truck, but in the end the whole community wins.

Tickets are on sale from now through to 9:00am on December 14, when the raffle will be drawn at Larsens Truck Sales, in Dandenong, Victoria. To enter the draw click here or call 0448 259 555.

You can also follow our updates by liking us on Facebook