Fundraising champion Ron Skinner with the 1965 Pontiac Parisienne that was hit by thieves outside the Grafton District Services
Fundraising champion Ron Skinner with the 1965 Pontiac Parisienne that was hit by thieves outside the Grafton District Services

Heartless thieves hit charity king

By JULIA ILES

julia.iles@dailyexaminer.com.au

A 1965 super stretch Pontiac Parisienne sat in a well-lit area at the Grafton Districts Golf Club on Sunday night, its owner Ron Skinner had got a lift home as he had 'a couple of drinks'.

He thought the vehicle would be safe in the carpark and expected to pick it up the next day, but instead he watched police officers fingerprint it.

"The car was only ever used for charity events and raising money for under-privileged children, it's so disheartening," Mr Skinner said with sadness.

Over the years he has spent from $30,000 to $35,000 repairing and improving it.

Thirteen times the Pontiac has made the mammoth trek through outback Australia to raise funds for the Variety Club in its annual charity bash.

But on Sunday morning he found the car ransacked.

"The window was smashed, my golf clubs were taken, as was money, my satellite phone, two pairs of golf shoes, a small buggy which was inside, CDs and a prize bulldog mascot which was smashed off the front of the car," Mr Skinner said.

"The bulldog is quite unique, so I am hoping if someone sees it around they will let me know."

The thieves also tried to dislodge the stereo system but were unsuccessful, leaving an expensive trail of damage.

But he is determined not to give up using his car for charity.

"I won't bow to them (the perpetrators) and I won't give up trying to raise funds," he said.

"The damage is repairable but I am just disheartened that the low-lifes and vandals got away with 10 grands worth of valuables.

"It's a shame that in this day and age that these things happen."



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