Andrew Scipione has a special name for the medical research that is funded by the annual Michael Tynan Memorial Challenge.
The highly respected former police commissioner calls it "hope research".
"All of us know that one day this science will lead to things that will save lives, that will bring hope to people who otherwise wouldn't be able to hope because there is no cure, no treatment, no preventative strategy," he said.
Mr Scipione was speaking at the launch of the 2019 Michael Tynan Memorial Challenge, which is being held for the fourth year.
The community event raises funds for St George and Sutherland Medical Research Foundation and University of Wollongong Medical Research.
It includes options to walk, paddle, drive or scoot between Wollongong and Sydney, and a charity race day at Kembla Grange Racecourse has been added for the first time.
The event honours the life and achievements of Mr Tynan, a giant of the motor vehicle industry, former Sutherland Shire president and councillor and charity worker, who died in 2016 after a two-year battle with cancer.
In a major boost, Prime Minister and Cook MP Scott Morrison has thrown his weight behind the cause, accepting the role of parliamentary patron.
Mr Scipione and Cronulla Sharks star Luke Lewis were named as ambassadors at the launch on Wednesday, which was attended by many sponsors and other supporters.
The former police commissioner, who has also been appointed to the organising committee, said he "jumped at the opportunity" because the initiative involved two passions - community and medical research.
"We all should be involved because this is going to affect us all," he said. "We all need hope and this sort of program brings hope to the community."
This year's event starts on August 17 with a rally of cars, motor cycles and scooters from Carss Park, via Hezelhurst Regional Gallery and Arts Centre at Gymea to Kembla Grange Racecourse in Wollongong, where a fund-raising luncheon will be held.
Up to 100 cars, motorbikes and scooters are expected to join the convoy.
More than 300 business and community sponsors and other supporters are expected to attend the racecourse luncheon, which replaces the fundraising ball held previously.
The challenge walk will follow on November 2, with about 200 people expected to take part.
The walk will start at the UOW Innovation Campus at 7am with a light breakfast before participants are taken by bus to Otford to walk the Coast Track.
Walkers will be supported with nourishment and first aid by volunteers at checkpoints along the track.
At Bundeena, the weary walkers will board a Cronulla Ferries vessel for a cheese and wine cruise to Cronulla for a final celebration.
This year, Georges River Council has joined Sutherland Shire Council and Wollongong City Council in supporting the event.
Georges River mayor Kevin Greene and the shire's deputy mayor Steve Simpson attended the launch.