PREMATURE babies in the Far North might not be able to talk yet, but we are sure that if they could, they would say a big thank you to the Cairns community which gave so generously at the chain gang challenge today.
More than $17,000 was raised by hard working community leaders who were handcuffed to wheelchairs at Cazalys Cairns, and not released until they had raised minimum bail of $1000 each.
Not only did all of the nine achieve their minimum bail, but two raised more than $3000 on their own – CDRL's Pat Bailey (also on the board of the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation) and Cazalys Cairns' Jason Salecich.
Other local identities under self-imposed imprisonment include Sean Lord of Lord’s Insurance Service, Gina Hogan, general manager of Southern Cross Austereo, Wayne Reynolds, general manager of the Reef Hotel Casino, Sonya Barber of Fitness Australia, Steve Corradi and Krystal King of I Want That Course, and Rowland Percy from Red Energy Promotions.
This challenge is more personal for participant and real estate agent Karl Latham than for many. His daughter Olivia was born 10 weeks premature.
“We spent the first three months of Olivia’s life in the unit,” Mr Latham said. “They saved her and we can’t give or do enough to repay them for the very precious gift they have given us.”
The challenge forms part of Sea FM’s annual Give Me 5 4 Kids Appeal. This year’s target is $25,000 by the end of June, to buy a neonatal humidifier, blanket warmer, breast pumps, and neonatal stethoscopes for the Special Care Baby Unit of Cairns Hospital.
Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation CEO Tony Franz said the event was another excellent example of the community coming together to help those most desperately in need.
“We are always humbled by what this community does to help others and people can be reassured that every cent goes to its intended cause and stays local,” Mr Franz said.
Sea FM’s involvement in the Give Me 5 for Kids fundraiser is part of parent company Southern Cross Austereo’s (SCA) campaign, which launched in the 1990s as a simple coin drive. Since then, the campaign has raised more than $14 million nationally, and uses SCA’s network of more than 40 regional radio and television stations to drive donations. It is rolled out in June each year.
Sea FM General Manager, Gina Hogan said: “99.5 Sea FM is passionate about its listeners, the local life and giving back to the community. Give Me 5 For Kids is dedicated to raising much needed funds for our local hospital as well as sick children and their families when they need it most. The Cairns community is full of heart, we greatly appreciate everyone who participates in our events and makes donations.”
Give Me 5 For Kids also will feature a Teddy Bears Picnic to be held on June 19 from 10am.