Two Gold Coast charities, Paradise Kids and Sailability, have benefited from the inaugural Gold Coast Marine Expo’s Artists Quarter, which raised $2000 for each charity.
Gold Coast Marine Expo spokesman Stephen Milne said the Expo set out to be a true not-for-profit community event and it was pleasing to see so many people supporting the fundraising initiative.
“The Artists Quarter had a wide variety of artists from all different backgrounds and mediums come together to create a marine themed artwork,” Mr Milne said.
“The artwork was then exhibited for sale with a selection of the works auctioned at the Carnivale of Colour evening on the Saturday night where 50 per cent of the proceeds were donated to Paradise Kids and Sailability.
“The inaugural Gold Coast Marine Expo put a breath of fresh air into the Australian marine industry and with 15, 769 people through the gates it proves we had the right mix of free admission and parking, easily accessible location, great exhibitions and fun for the whole family as well as supporting our local charities.”
Paradise Kids community development manager Brodie Sheiles said the funds raised from the Gold Coast Marine Expo would go directly to supporting their counseling services.
“Paradise Kids has been operating since 1996, we receive no government funding and rely solely on fundraising events, beneficiary events and donations to keep our charity alive,” she said.
“We provide counseling services to young children and their families who are experiencing a traumatic time that could be the death or illness of a loved one or separation.
“We were extremely happy to be part of the Gold Coast Marine Expo and appreciate their generosity.”
Sailability Gold Coast president Peter Board said they were ‘tickled pink’ to be involved in the inaugural Gold Coast Marine Expo.
“Sailability is a volunteer organisation, it’s not-for-profit and we have hundreds of volunteers who turn up every week to take disabled people sailing in dinghies and yachts,” he said.
“We have between 80 and 100 people every week who turn up by bus. There are a lot of sailors who are paraplegic or quadriplegic so we use special slings to lift them out of their wheel chairs and into a sail boat where they are accompanied by an able-bodied trained skipper.
“The funds raised by the Gold Coast Marine Expo will be used for repair and maintenance of our boats and to help buy fuel for our rescue boat.
“We really appreciate the generosity of the local community. It means so much to our sailors to spend an hour out on the Broadwater each week. It puts a bit of sparkle into their day, puts a smile on their face and the tranquility of being out there on the water and out of their chair for an hour means so much to them and we thank the Gold Coast Marine Expo for their support.”
Mr Milne said organisers of the Gold Coast Marine Expo were already planning next year’s event, which will be held on November 2, 3 and 4.
“We expect it to be bigger and better and look forward to continuing to grow this community event.