RACQ Foundation helps communities rebuild

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Maryborough club thankful for grant after damaging floods.
Maryborough West Football Club cheque presentation from RACQ Foundation.
Maryborough West Football Club President Hans Karner is presented with a $40,000 cheque from RACQ Foundation by Board President Elizabeth Jameson.

The Maryborough West Football Club has renewed hope for its future after a grant from the RACQ Foundation to help it recover from two flood events earlier this year.

Maryborough West President Hans Karner was given a cheque for $40,000 by RACQ Board President Elizabeth Jameson on behalf of the Foundation during a visit to the region in June.

Mr Karner said significant flooding in January and February this year “basically decimated our grounds and facilities”.

“All our fields were inundated by about 1–1.5m of water,” Mr Karner said.

“We lost our canteen, our fridges, our electrical equipment. Perpetual trophies that have been with the club for 50 years got destroyed, so we have to replace all those.

“It’s not just the physical things either. It was very stressful for the club members.

“I know it nearly broke me as a member and I can say that other members felt the same way.”

Mr Karner said the donation had given the club optimism that it could build on its proud 54-year history for decades to come.

“We now have the funds to replace equipment that we have lost where before we were struggling,” he said.

“Also, with field maintenance and things like that, it’s a matter of finding the funds and this gives us a chance to get this field back up to its glory days and hopefully be here for the next 100 years.”

Mr Karner said his club was an important community organisation providing a source of friendship and camaraderie.

“I would love to thank the RACQ Foundation for what it has been able to give to not only our club but clubs across Queensland,” he said.

“It really brings hope and keeps the clubs running and on their feet, so it’s appreciated.”

The RACQ Foundation pledged $2.1 million to 73 organisations impacted by the flooding that swamped south-east Queensland earlier this year.

These grants followed a $50,000 RACQ donation to Lifeline Queensland to help its efforts to support Queenslanders doing it tough after that unprecedented rain event.

RACQ Education Team Docudrama presentation at Bundaberg State High School.

Bundaberg State High Students watch the RACQ Education Team's Docudrama presentation.

RACQ Group CEO David Carter said as a mutual organisation, it was in RACQ’s DNA to help members and their communities, particularly in their times of need.

“RACQ’s support of community groups and sporting clubs is in direct recognition that they represent the social fabric of our communities,” Mr Carter said.

“From rowing to cricket, football, bowls and pony clubs – it’s where community members come together and that’s where RACQ makes a difference.

“These grants will enable groups, many of them not-for-profit organisations run by volunteers, to pay for rebuilding costs and the replacement of much-needed equipment and amenities.”

The RACQ Foundation was established after the 2011 Brisbane floods and has since distributed nearly $11 million in funding to more than 400 community groups impacted by floods, droughts, cyclones and bushfires throughout Queensland.

Ms Jameson, Mr Carter and members of RACQ’s board and executive team attended the cheque presentation at Maryborough West Football Club.

It was part of their two-day tour of the Bundaberg region where they visited Bundaberg State High School for a road safety demonstration by the RACQ Education Team and a trip to the Bundaberg bioHub industrial precinct.

The tour included a function at the LifeFlight Bundaberg Base attended by RACQ members, special guests and stakeholders.

The base is the home of a Bell 412 helicopter – one of 14 aircraft that make up the LifeFlight fleet providing emergency medical care for Queenslanders as part of the RACQ-sponsored Air Rescue Network.

Ms Jameson said none of what RACQ and the Foundation did to support Queensland communities would be possible without the support of its members.

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