RACQ Foundation funding gets Sarina Surf Lifesaving Club back on its feet

When Tropical Cyclone Debbie ripped through central Queensland in March last year, shots from the Sarina Surf Lifesaving Club of foam and water inundation around the clubhouse went viral on social media.

With the storm ripping parts of the clubhouse apart and exposing it to the weather, the Club was forced to shut the upper floors of the building for five months while damage was repaired.

Sarina Surf Lifesaving Club President Neil John said while some cyclone damage was covered by insurance, the building’s external beams, rusted by salt water damage, and the kitchen door were not, so the Club sought support to get these elements rectified.

“After the cyclone, the building was no longer weather-proof. Finding a way to fund the extra repairs was a burden for us because we’re a small club and don’t have a huge funding base – it would have been a lot of sausage sizzles to raise the money we needed,” Mr John said.

“But thankfully, we applied for RACQ Foundation funding and were approved to cover the costs of replacing the kitchen door and rusted beams.”

RACQ Foundation donated more than $13,000 to the club for the repairs and Mr John said the community appreciated the help in getting back on its feet.

“We have 150 members, including our nippers, who rely on the club and we’re so grateful for RACQ Foundation’s donation because it’s enabled us to make the clubhouse useable again,” he said.

“It’s a huge bonus and has certainly improved morale in our community.” 

RACQ Foundation spokesperson Darryn Hammond said the organisation was proud to be able to help communities affected by natural disaster get back on their feet.

“Community groups like the Sarina Surf Lifesaving Club help boost spirits in regional towns during tough times and that is why we’re so pleased to have been able to give this funding to the club to repair this cyclone damage,” Mr Hammond said.

“It’s clear it’s gone a long way in giving members of the club, and the wider community, the lift they needed.”

More than 180 community groups have been given more than $7.6 million in funding since the RACQ Foundation was established following the 2011 floods.