Bowen sporting clubs benefit from IGA’s generosity
BOWEN IGA has highlighted its commitment to the community, handing out thousands of dollars to sporting groups, community organisations and the drought appeal this year.
Owners Kylie and Greg Dempsey said a large part of the donations have been through IGA's Community Chest program, but the pair have also happily donated about $20,000 of their own money.
Two sporting clubs to benefit from the support of the IGA were Bowen Athletics Club and Bowen Swimming Club, who were the recipients of donations which allowed them to purchase much needed equipment for their clubs.
Bowen Swimming Club president Ashley Wright said the $1128 donation had helped them "immensely", allowing them to keep kids in the pool, and learning an "essential activity" like swimming.
"It obviously helps us immensely, it helps us supply the club with a new PA system, shirts, togs and team wear for the whole year," he said.
"It helped us hire a bus this year to go to events, so we could all go together as a club rather than in individual cars.
"It helps bring us together as a club and also reduces the costs to the families."
Bowen Athletics Club secretary Kelly Telford said they set a yearly sponsorship goal and compile a list of items the club is in need of, which still has a few outstanding items needed for this year's season.
"The first thing we did manage to purchase prior to Covid-19 restrictions was a new starting pistol as the old cap gun caps are no longer available," she said.
"We were also able to purchase club competition uniforms, bucket hats and supporter shirts that showcase our sponsors."
Many of Bowen's sporting clubs require assistance from a number of sponsors to enable them to continue and grow, and without the support of local sponsors like IGA their "ambitions would be almost impossible".
"We have been amazed with the support we have received this year and really like to thank our wonderful sponsors, especially IGA for getting on board with us for the 2020 season," she said.
In the wake of Covid-19, supporting local businesses and organisations is on the forefront of many minds, including community-based sporting clubs like Bowen Athletics.
"It is so important for local businesses to support community organisations and vice versa especially with so much uncertainty at the moment," she said.
"We are incredibly lucky to have our sponsors come on board so early in the season, this has allowed us to have this time in isolation without the pressure to raise funds to cover the basics."
Mrs Dempsey said they had personally donated to a range of organisations and highlighted the importance of supporting Bowen businesses and sporting clubs, particularly in the wake of Covid-19.
"Greg and I have ourselves donated, to the town, about $20,000. To QCWA, fundraisings, the golf club, mens shed and others," she said.
"We do what we can, we hardly ever say no. It makes you feel good.
"You always hear about Woolworths giving money to the schools, but I think people don't realise how much we give back."
On top of the personal donations from the Dempsey's, Bowen IGA Community Chest program has donated about $18,000 in the last year, with the most money going towards local sporting groups and the drought appeal.
The IGA Community Chest program uses points gained from purchases of the IGA brand products, which are converted into dollars and donated back to the community, Mrs Dempsey said.
"It's well worth it if locals want to support the community to shop Commco, that's our IGA brand," she said.
"Every time someone buys those we get the points and we can turn it into money and donations for the town.
"If people realise that if they back that (program) then there's more money back to the community on top of what Greg and I personally give."