THIS was widely known throughout the community as the ride Danny Frawley would be on. Each summer Frawley would be back on course, alongside his mates, but knowing he was hoping to promote cancer research in his hometown.
"I've been here since the get-go, bike riding in the (Ballarat Cycle) Classic...Ballarat's cancer research relies on community donations and yet, it's one of the world leaders in the work they do," Frawley told The Courier last year.
"If I can ride a bit, a couple of laps around the lake, with some mates I will."
Frawley has led by example as an event ambassador from the inaugural Cycle Classic in 2008, putting his pedal game on the line against Olympic swimmer Michael Klim in a celebrity race.
He joined forces with fellow Ballarat football export Michael Malthouse as event ambassadors for the past two Classics once Malthouse was introduced to the work the homegrown Fiona Elsey Cancer Research Institute was making on an international stage.
Frawley has been a long-time supporter. His brother-in-law Gavin James remains a FECRI board member.
FECRI's board, staff and volunteers last week paid tribute to Frawley as a "much-loved" Ballarat Cycle Classic ambassador: "He was generous in his time and energy for cancer research. He will be missed".
The Classic is FECRI's major annual fundraiser, now attracting more than 2000 participants in road rides, mountain biking and a pet-friendly walk and run. Every cent from registrations boosts FECRI's cancer research.
It started as an idea formed in a coffee chat between Gavin James and two fellow Ballarat businessmen, Rob McClure and Peter Martin, as a way to boost cancer research.
The trio wanted to honour their great friend Bruce Stafford, who had died of cancer.
The first event fielded about 200 participants. It has since raised more than $1.5 million for Ballarat cancer research.
"It's been a good cause and I didn't have to think twice about jumping on board," Frawley told The Courier in 2012, encouraging more people to don the Lycra and just get out there with him.
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