Dennis “Jindaboonda” Jeffers was a much loved and respected community member and family man. His passing due to complications from pancreatic cancer related surgery has left a gap that can never be filled – but his family have remained positive in the face of their difficulties. Dennis’ wife, Kim Jeffers, nephew Daniel Kranz and daughter-in-law Amy Jeffers have organised some fundraisers to raise money for the Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF) … the next one is a Postie Bike trek that will cover 3,391 km in May!
Hi guys. Introduce us to Dennis Jeffers. Tell us a bit about his life story, how he came by the name “Jindaboonda”, and why he’s been such a role model for you all …
Kim: Dennis Jeffers was 61 years of age. He passed away in January 2015 from complications due to surgery from pancreatic cancer related issues. He was an incredibly devoted, loving husband, father and adored pop.
The “tipped ya last” quote you may see associated with the trek is in regards to a game he always played with his grandchildren, where he would endeavour to be the last one to “tip” them before departing; they all loved that!
Dennis was passionate about our native environment and animals and generous with his time for our local community, including the Hallidays Point Surf Life Saving Club.
He was respected by our local Aboriginal communities, working closely with them in regards to bush regeneration.
Dennis was incredibly welcoming and compassionate to everybody he met, making you feel instantly relaxed and comfortable within his presence.
His passing affected so many people so deeply, and he will forever be a role model for us all to look up to!
The name Jindaboonda was given to given to Dennis by a family friend, Terry – meaning keeper of the lake.
Amy: Although the postie trek is in Dennis’s honour and he has ultimately brought us all together, every rider has a different story of how cancer has affected their own personal lives, including my own dad’s battle (Mark James), Emma Goldring’s dedication to ride for her mum, Jared (pipi) Cummins’s brave dad (Peter Cummins), Daniel Kranz’s inspiring grandfather (Murray Kranz).
The list goes on and on. I’m sure there will be many stories of our heroes previously affected by or currently affected by cancer, including our dear friends Lisa Mostyn and Vonnie Card.
Dennis has obviously had a huge impact on your lives, and you’ve really knuckled down to raise funds for cancer research on his behalf. Describe the “shave” event that took place on April 23rd at Blackhead Surf Club …
Amy: The “shave years off cancer research” event held on April 23rd, Dennis’ birthday, was brought about as another avenue to raise money for the ACRF.
Held at Black Head Surf Club and supported by our local Lions club, the community showed huge generosity and support in both attending the event and local businesses in donating goods for raffle/auction on the night.
It was not only members of the Jeffers family, including Kim Jeffers, Melissa Lawson, Rebecca Jeffers, Amy Jeffers and Hannah Kranz who shaved their heads. Ella Lawson, 9 years old (Dennis’s granddaughter) cut her hair and donated it to the Alopecia Foundation, and Lucy Schneider also cut her hair. Vonnie Card from Diamond Beach Butchery and Lilly Smyth bravely shaved for the cause; their own personal stories were all brought together by this one ugly disease, cancer, that affects one in three Australians.
You’ve also organised a Postie bike trek to raise further funds for the Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF). Describe the journey … What are the start and end points, what are the dates you plan to ride – and how many kilometres will you travel in total?
Daniel: The Postie Trek Departs Kim’s property at Possum Brush on the morning of May 3rd, and heads out to Cameron Corner, up through the Strzelecki Desert to Innamincka, South Australia, then along the Adventure Way in Queensland to Toowoomba and finally south into New South Wales and home to Kim’s on the 12th. The total length of the journey is 3,391 km.
How many people are involved with this trek? Who/how many will be riding, and who is your support crew?
Daniel: There are 23 riders on 15 bikes, and 27 support crew, including kids. It is mostly extended family involved, with some close friends coming along who are pretty much adopted family, as well as some members from the Hallidays Point Lions Club, who are organising assistance from various other Lions Clubs along the way.
How much have you raised for the ACRF so far, and what is your fundraising goal?
Daniel: So far we have raised just over $20,000, which is awesome because at the start we were hoping to raise $15,000. Now we think we will raise over $25,000, with $30,000 being the ultimate goal.
The Hallidays Point Lions Club has been a tremendous supporter of your cause. What would you like to say to them, and to all of your other supporters?
Daniel: The Hallidays Point Lions Club came on board in February and in a relatively short time, have achieved so much for our cause. Not only have they helped us to raise money locally, but they have organised various other Lions Clubs to assist us with lunches and fundraising along our way. Their enthusiasm and drive to assist us is astounding. Thank you so very much to Ray, Deb, Noel and all the other Lions Club members who have eagerly jumped on board.
A massive amount of thanks and gratitude also has to go to Kate at Thargomindah and Haley at Coonamble for organising our stay in their towns, as well as getting those local communities involved.
Also to all the ride participants for being such awesome fundraisers, as well as all the people we have organised accommodation with, and of course, the sponsors and everyone else who has helped along the way.
If you could achieve just one thing from the Jindaboonda Postie Trek, what would it be?
Daniel: To assist in the eradication of all forms of cancer, so that our kids live in a world where their loved ones are not lost in such a cruel way, or have to battle for their lives against such a destructive disease – where the cure is often just as cruel as what it is trying to destroy.
How can people donate to your cause, or find out more about the event?
Daniel: To donate or find out more about the ride, search for Jindaboonda Postie Trek on Facebook and everydayhero.com.au
The ride and shave organisers can also take donations in person and arrange for tax receipts to be issued.