GAME fishing fanatics from around the world are leaving a legacy of improved health care for heart patients in Far North Queensland.
Leftover funds from a life-size marlin sculpture unveiled on the Cairns waterfront last year, have been donated to the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation, for the second cardiac catheter laboratory project.
The large, bronzed black marlin statue was commissioned to recognise the significant contribution the game fishing industry had had on Cairns tourism and the general economy.
Cheryl Campbell - a member of the Cairns Game Fishing Commemorative Association, which was established to raise funding for the project - said support for the “lasting legacy” of the Cairns game fishing industry had gained widespread national and international support, above and beyond what the association had originally anticipated.
“We received some significant donations for the sculpture from overseas, Australia and the local Far Northern community and it was the committee’s view that we should donate the leftover funds to a worthy local cause. And, the Foundation certainly fits the bill,” Mrs Campbell said.
She is a long-standing supporter of Cairns Hospital and was one of the original board members of the Foundation when it was established in 1997.
She said most members of the Commemorative Association had been touched by the work of the Foundation in some way, whether personally or through friends or family. “When we sat down to decide where the extra funding should go, the Foundation seemed a natural choice and the cardiac catheter laboratory will benefit so many members of the Cairns community over many years to come,” she said.
Association president Capt Dennis “Brazzaka” Wallace agreed the Foundation was a deserving recipient. “Cairns is of size and the community is going to need these (cardiac) procedures more and more, so it makes sense to help bring these services closer to home so we don’t have to travel away,” Mr Wallace said. “Similar to the marlin sculpture being a lasting legacy for the game fishing industry, we believe the cardiac catheter lab will leave an important legacy of its own on the Cairns community.”
Foundation chairman Dr Ken Chapman said the $123,000 donation from the Association was a very welcome and generous gift. “Gifts like this really make a difference to this important project,” Dr Chapman said.
“We are edging closer all the time to our goal of $1.4 million so we are calling on the community to support us in the work we are doing to support heart patients in FNQ,” he said.
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