Claude pushing $1m target for a good cause
CLAUDE "The Mowerman" Harvey is in Gympie for one more day, as he pushes his mower around town to raise money for abused children.
"I've done it for 10 years," Mr Harvey said in Mary St Wednesday. on Thursday.
"I'm in my 11th year and I do it six months of the year."
Claude is approaching the end of a promise he made to himself and to the abused children of Australia, that he would raise $1 million for their organisation, Bravehearts.
"I've made it to $930,000," he said as he pushed his mower through Gympie. "I've only got $70,000 to go."
Born in Kempsey New South Wales in 1945 and now a Gold Coast resident, Mr Harvey became an active Bravehearts volunteer after reading news of a pedophile being arrested for sexually assaulting a child.
When two family friends disclosed that they had been sexually assaulted, it was almost too much.
"They were three and four years old at the time and the boy who did it, who was 16, got a pat on the back and told to be a good boy in future.
"I promised myself then that I would do everything I could to raise $1 million for education and counselling for the kids," he said.
"I don't care what happens to me, but I'm going to raise that million dollars."
Mr Harvey will still be in Gympie today, after the Royal Hotel donated him two nights accommodation, as a gesture of support for his campaign.
"That was lovely of them," he said.
"I never know where I'm going to stay until I arrive in the next town."
Mr Harvey has already pushed his trademark mower through 24,000km across Australia in support of the Bravehearts charity, the only organisation in Australia dedicated solely to the prevention of child sexual assault.
Mr Harvey has worn out 83 pairs of the sandals he always wears in promoting his fundraising work.
"I've walked right through Tasmania and Western Australia and all around New South Wales.
"These days I take a vehicle between towns though," he confessed.
Mr Harvey will head for the Cooloola Coast this weekend, calling in to Tin Can Bay tomorrow and Rainbow Beach on Sunday.
"I'm on my way to Biloela, via Gladstone," he said, as people dropped money in his collection tin during the interview. A Bravehearts spokeswoman described Mr Harvey as "a national living treasure" who is admired by fans and supporters wherever he goes.
"People are supportive and always keen to stop for a chat, or donate some money and take a few pictures with me and my famous lawnmower," he said.