UPDATE OCTOBER 2018 No VSK day is scheduled for 2018 due to a variety of circumstances
We are looking at alternative ways we can still bring some joy into the lives of these Very Special Kids in the future
The VSK Day is an annual event organised by the Ulysses Club Melbourne Branch in partnership with Very Special Kids, the National 3 Wheelers Association (Trikes), the Side Car Association and Ulysses Club members who make the day happen and is the major charity supported by the branch.
VSK Day is usually held at Cardinia Dam in mid November.
The day begins early for the organisers with food and decorations to arrange. The Special Kids, their families and Carer's start to arrive around 10am. The BBQ is lit. The bikes are fired up! Faces are painted! Food, drinks and lollies are consumed.
If someone in the club can arrange to get free toys for Santa to hand out this is always welcome, but we have not been able to achieve this every year.
For every family member of these Very Special Kids it is a day they look forward to with excitement and an event I personally look forward to as a Ulyssian.
The day winds down around 2pm and, even with clean up, is over well before 4pm.
If you haven't experienced the joy and fun of this day then try it this year!! You will not be disappointed.
NOVEMBER 2005 ARCHIVED COPY
A Day Out For Very Special Kids
Every year, mid November is a very special time for some Very Special Kids. Because this is when the Melbourne Branch of Ulysses and Very Special Kids organises a fun day out at a picnic site at the Cardinia Dam near Melbourne for these special children and their families. With joyrides galore, a delicious barbecue, face painting, balloon sculptures and even a visit from a jolly white bearded fellow in a red suit, the day is all action and fun! The Very Special Kids, by the way, are children with progressive life threatening illness, and who are generally unable to participate in many of the activities most youngsters take for granted. Together with the National 3 Wheelers Association (trikes) and the Sidecar Club of Victoria the kids are given ‘bike rides on all sorts of interesting machinery - and they absolutely love it! For some, the objective is to have a ride on each and every ‘bike, trike or sidecar at least once, and all the while encouraging the ‘pilot’ to go faster! The trikes are always most popular, and their riders get little time for a break - they are flat out giving rides from 10 in the morning until about 3 in the afternoon. And the sidecars and solos don’t get much time to themselves either! Of course, there are some who cannot ride pillion, due to their condition, and that is when the sidecars and trikes are really appreciated.
This year, 2005, we had 85 children and 39 families, so with all the helpers, riders and casual attendees we had just under 200 people, a terrific roll up in near perfect weather. It was comfortably warm and sunny, without it being too hot. Perfect conditions for just about everybody. Extremes of weather sometimes make it impossible for the parents and guardians / carers of some kids to get them outside and allow them to participate in the event, as their physical health and condition may be too fragile. It cannot be stressed too highly that for some families, the day out at the Cardinia Dam with the ‘bikes is, quite literally, THE event of their year, and is eagerly awaited and looked forward to for several months beforehand. Therefore it is quite an honour and a privilege for us to put on the best ‘show’ we can for these children and their families. The day has a momentum all its own, and by about 3 o’clock most have had enough, although this year there was still a bit of a queue by the ‘trikes and sidecars for kids who hadn’t had quite enough! We can only hope that the riders had enough fuel left in their tanks to get to the nearest petrol outlet so they could get home! And as always the lasting memory from the VSK Day, is the absolute joy on the faces of these Very Special Kids (and their families too) as they return from their rides. These are kids, remember, who have life threatening illness.
Robert J. Munro. #19789. Melbourne Branch Committee Member and VSK Day Co-ordinator.