The region’s rescue helicopter service was dealt a significant boost last weekend with a record number of attendees raising more than $140,000 at the annual gala dinner.
About 520 people attended the CQ Rescue One Night in Monte Carlo Gala Fundraising Dinner, presented by BHP, at the Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre on Friday, August 30.
RACQ CQ Rescue CEO Ian Rowan said the final figure raised was up more than $40,000 on what had been raised at the event in 2018 and was testament to the support and confidence the region had in the community-funded rescue service.
Such a successful evening would not have been possible without the support of numerous sponsors and donations by and assistance from community businesses, he said.
“The 2019 One Night in Monte Carlo Dinner was presented by BHP and was a fantastic night being incredibly well supported by this community,” Mr Rowan said.
“We are absolutely thrilled to have had a record crowd attending the dinner and subsequently raising record funds,” Mr Rowan said.
“We extend our heartfelt thanks to every individual who helped bring the evening to fruition through sponsorship, the donation of prizes or by attending the event. Your support and generosity will help ensure our helicopter and crew can continue to fly to the rescue of more than 600 people every year who find themselves in dire circumstances and require our assistance.”
The evening was emceed by well-known Australian comedian Dave Hughes, with Babcock Mission Critical Services as the entertainment sponsor, and featured performances by local band Stage Five, two live auctions by LJ Hooker auctioneer Luke Curtis and gambling tables run by Mackay Casino Nights.
A huge range of live and silent auction items went up for grabs including sporting memorabilia, artwork, aviation experiences, media packages and other memorabilia notably including a Valentino Rossi signed helmet and a Rodger Federer racquet, Whitsunday Island and Cairns short breaks, handcrafted furniture, concert tickets and holidays to Bali and the Caribbean.
A unique propeller coffee table, handcrafted by local man Justin Refalo and donated by BMA Hay Point, fetched an incredible $3800 at auction.
Mr Rowan extended his gratitude to BHP as the event’s presenting partner as well as thanking silver sponsors Fergus Builders, Pacific National, Hastings Deering, DGH Engineering, Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal, Adani Australia, New Hope Group and Commercial Mine Recyclers.
Bronze sponsors included Trantech Computers, Wilmar, SH Tait & Co, Quarry Mining, Travel Managers Leah Hughes and Sue Wright, Allure Laser and Skin Studio, Fulton Hogan, NQ Cranes, Key Solutions Group, Wisely Group, Barcam Electrical and Consolidated Plastics and Epoxy.
“Our region should be so proud to have so many organisations supporting their local rescue helicopter service and recognising the lifesaving value RACQ CQ Rescue offers residents, workers and visitors in this region,” Mr Rowan said.
In 2018, RACQ CQ Rescue winched, rescued and transferred 636 people from an area in Central Queensland which is more than four times the size of Tasmania.