Honouring Matty at the show
IT MIGHT be a fantastic day out, but there's a heart-breaking story behind Gympie's popular truck show, Matty Hillcoat's Truckie's Day Out.
Dan and Kris Hillcoat were devastated when they lost their second son, Matthew Blaik Hillcoat (or Matty as he was affectionately known) to SIDS in 2011.
Matty was born on June 16, 2011, and was a happy little guy adored by all who met him.
Tragically, only a few months later, he passed away in his sleep without warning.
In the search for answers during their grief and despair, the Hillcoats reached out to River's Gift, a charity at the forefront of SIDS research.
They discovered the charity was started by a family who was similarly devastated when they lost their son River to SIDS.
To say thank you for the support the family received from River's Gift, Kris and her husband created the truck show to help raise some much-needed funds to help research SIDS, which is the sudden unexpected death of an infant under one year of age that cannot be explained after a thorough investigation, including an autopsy.
The show was first held in 2017 and has since gone from strength to strength.
This year's event will be held on October 12 at the Gympie Showgrounds from 9am-11pm.
"It seems to have just taken off,” Matty's mum Kris, who is the show's organiser, said.
"We estimated about 3000 people were there last year and we had a lot of the guys saying it was one of the better shows they've been to and there's always something to get excited about.”
This year's event will once again be family friendly and feature a host of other entertainment over and above the truck and ute show. The tractor pulling, vintage machinery display, chainsaw racing, chainsaw sculpting, woodchopping, pig racing, kids amusements, live music, street food and bar facilities will all be back.
Some special new additions include an appearance from the Bullet Burnout truck, Glenn 'Yogi' Kendall from Outback Truckers and owner of Kendall Trucking and Co, and fireworks. There will be 20 different categories to enter in the truck and ute shows, including a fun one for the truck covered in the most soot.