Family fireworks to go ahead for next two years
TWELVE years ago, Whitsunday Transit came to the rescue with money to fund New Year's Eve fireworks in Airlie Beach and now, in 2014/15, they have done the same again.
Last week, the Whitsunday Times reported that only half of the $15k target to fund dual fireworks displays at 9pm and midnight had been raised.
Reef Festival committee chairwoman Margie Murphy said if more money was not found, the 9pm fireworks would not go ahead.
Just one day later, Whitsunday Transit owner Colin Crossley handed over a check to ensure the family fireworks at 9pm would be held for not just one, but two years.
Mr Crossley said in 2000 the Federal Government funded the millennium fireworks and everyone had a ball.
"Then in 2001 everyone came out of their function rooms at midnight and there were no fireworks," he said. In 2002 and 2003, Whitsunday Transit picked up the tab so there would again be fireworks for the people of Proserpine, Cannonvale and Airlie Beach. Mr Crossley said over the years that followed, Whitsunday Transit offered other businesses in the area the chance to contribute financially, picking up the shortfall wherever necessary.
"[And] now there's a shortfall again and we're stepping back in," he said.
Mr Crossley, a grandfather himself, said it was important to Whitsunday Transit that the area had a family-friendly New Year's Eve event. "We're family owned and we're proud to be supporting the local community," he said.
Ms Murphy was understandably full of appreciation for this act of generous support, adding to the donations already made by other local businesses and entities such as Whitsunday Regional Council, who had ensured the midnight display would go ahead.
Whitsunday Transit managing director Darren Crossley said the bus company would be running extra services throughout the night with pick ups and drop offs in the main street of Airlie Beach.