One of the upsides of dragging myself out of bed before the sun most mornings and climbing onto a push bike, is the amazing group of people that I get to meet. One of those amazing individuals was Steve Schoemaker. A buzzing suburban coffee shop was the backdrop where I was first educated about this interesting character’s incredible charity endeavors.
Steve went on to humbly tell all present about his previous fund raising escapades and the incredible change providing foster care, high quality education, healthcare, feeding programs, and community development initiatives had made to the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo. His stories of overcoming the hardships and devastation that these people had endured due to wars and civil unrest was truly inspirational.
When Steve went on to explain what he was planning for his next fund raising event, our jaws dropped. To our disbelief Steve proudly announced that he was going to ride over 5,600km in 6 weeks from the most western point of Australia to the most Eastern – right across the middle of Australia. Now, I personally know what it is like to ride 150 – 200 km in a day on a bike and what that does to the body, but to do that every day for 6 weeks in a row sounded like a whole world of hurt.
Now Steve isn’t undertaking this insanity all on his own lonesome. His has close mate of many years Jon Bennett and riding compadre Marshall Cusworth are along for the ride in addition to a very dedicated support team. As you can imagine (or not), a fund raising event and distant journey of this epic proportion is a logistical nightmare.
Now I don’t know much about keeping a group of men fed, fit and healthy and on the road for 6 weeks or about putting together the logistics for such an event, but when Steve was looking for someone to help put together a website that could facilitate donations and pledges, I knew that the team at SBIM could handle that one.
Out of Steve’s vision (a flurry of typed notes, images and logos) came a reality which is now the online home of www.hopeacrossaustralia.com
This beautifully presented website is built on the WordPress platform utilising a one-page scrolling, full width, mobile and tablet friendly design. The site also features parallax which is a special scrolling technique wherein background images move slower than foreground images, creating an illusion of depth. To handle the donation a Gravity Forms user interface has been blended with the eWay payment gateway facility along with an SSL certificate (for security) to handle the donations.
Once the ride is underway you will be able to get live progress updates every 10 minutes via the spot CONNECT integration. The boys will also be able to post news and updates to the website, Facebook and Twitter via the built in blogging feature whilst out on the road.