Community behind Summers appeal
SUMMERS Family Appeal Monster Raffle organiser Kelli Matthews is extending a heartfelt "thank you" to the members of the Whitsunday community who helped raise $8,500 for the Nebo family torn apart in a tragic road accident on August 10.
Four family members lost their lives in the accident on the Bruce Highway.
Ms Matthews said Saturday's monster raffle draw event alone raised just over $5000 "which is tremendous".
"It's more than we anticipated. I was hoping for $3000 but together with the Proserpine raffle we've raised over $8500 in not even three weeks. I think that's amazing," she said.
Ms Matthews thanked everyone involved in making Saturday's event at Cannonvale's Club Crocodile resort a success.
The Summers Family Appeal events co-ordinator Jennylee Rapmund, who attended the evening, spoke about the family the money is intended for and particularly the surviving children Matthew (19) and Damian (2).
"She described the family as loving, giving, people who'd give you the shirt off their backs," Ms Matthews said. Funds raised will contribute to medical expenses for toddler Damian, who is now in the John Hunter Hospital at Newcastle, with the expectation of a transfer to Sydney, where he will receive further treatment over the course of what may be several months.
Ms Matthews said sad as this was, everyone was "optimistic" and if there was one positive factor to come from the tragedy it was certainly the community's response.
"I never realised what a great place this was to live. They talk about this being the best place on earth to live and it is, but it's got nothing to do with the weather and everything to do with the generosity and spirit of the people," she said.
Ms Matthews said she would continue to champion the Summers' family cause by distributing appeal buckets across the region and maintaining an involvement in any future events.