How you can help Whitsunday businesses destroyed by fire

THE Whitsunday community has reached into its pockets and is giving generously to help get the businesses destroyed by the weekend's fire get back on their feet.

GoFundMe pages for some of the businesses lost in the fire that destroyed part of the Whitsunday Shopping Centre complex have raised thousands of dollars already.

Here's how you can help...


Marino's Deli GoFundMe page.
Marino's Deli GoFundMe page. Cas Garvey

Marino's Deli

Luke Anderson created the GoFundMe page for Marino's, saying:

My name is Luke and Marino and his family are dear friends of mine. Recently these long time locals lost their incredible family business 'Marino's' in Sunday nights devastating fire at Whitsunday Shopping Centre. 

Not 2 years ago, the exact same thing happened. Marino wasn't insured and lost everything. But he put all his money into it and rebuilt! They finally got back on their feet and were happy only to have it happen again.

The first thing Marino said to me when I spoke to him after the most recent blaze was that he is worried about his staff and them being out of work, unable to provide for their families. This is the kind of man he is, a community focused business man, always giving and thinking of others. 

I am currently helping to find a new location for Marino's to operate from and although the business is insured this time your kind donations will help him temporarily support his staff, their families and get them operating again sooner rather than later.

We as a community can now return the favour by digging deep and giving back to such a great family. We will help them get back on their feet and open their doors once again!

Marino and Yvonne have reached out to everyone who has supported them through this week, saying they are unsure if their much-loved family deli will rise again despite everyone's efforts. 


Marino and Yvonne would like to thank everyone for their uplifting comments, hugs, offers of help, cards, flowers,...

Posted by Marino's Deli on Wednesday, April 6, 2016


But with the community behind them, there's no doubt they will have the weight of the Whitsundays behind their fight.

Donate HERE.


Glambox's GoFundMe page.
Glambox's GoFundMe page. Cas Garvey

Glambox hair salon

Nilo Ballance created the GoFundMe page, saying:

My name is Nilo and Adele Katzke is my Sister.  As you all know by now her Hairdressing Salon Glambox  Hair Studio, burned down Sunday evening in the devastating fire at the Whitsunday Shopping Centre. For two hours all she could do was stand and watch her and her staff's livelyhood go up in flames! 

Adele started the Salon in December 2012. It was her opportunity to start a new life in Australia. Glambox has been accepted in the Community as a place to relax and enjoy being pampered. Meeting new friends and feeling part of the Family.

The Fire completely destroyed all the Staff's personal equipment eg. Sizzors, Driers, brushes, combs, clippers and Hair Straightners. Replacing these items will be extremely costly and without these they are not able to carry on.

I know Adele, Misha, Mikahla and Bek are loved by many of you in our Community and it is therefore that I have started this fundraising campaign.

Please donate generously to assist these Ladies so that they can start working and rebuilding what they have lost. It is their wish to get back to doing what they love most, which is to serve their loyal Clientelle.

Donate HERE.


Art Whitsunday's GoFundMe page.
Art Whitsunday's GoFundMe page. Cas Garvey

Art Whitsunday

Lyndy Hill created the GoFundMe page for Art Whitsunday art gallery, saying:

My Name is Lyndy Hill and I am currently the President of Art Whitsunday Inc. I have only been a member of Art Whisunday for a relatively short period of time in the life of a group that has been a part of this wonderful community for over thirty years.  Art Whitsunday is open to anyone in the community who has an interest in the Visual Arts.

Over the past 6 years I have met a lot of wonderful people , we have created artworks together, held exhibitions together and celebrated milestones in our achievements. There is no where now for artists in the Whitsunday area  to showcase their work.

Unfortunately, everything the group has worked for over the past 30 years has vanished and we will need to start from scratch. Not only did our members lose paintings, photography, sculptures, pottery, jewellery and textiles, they lost their group home, their accumulated hardware and equipment : last month we upgraded the lighting in the gallery at a cost of $2000.
We lost all a our archive material, the whole hanging system, our panels for hanging at exhibitions, our easels, plinths,  & display cases.

The members of Art Whitsunday are dedicated hardworking people, so your support will be well utilised and carefully managed.  We will look for a new home to meet and exhibit and we will continue to support the visual artist of our community.

Donate HERE.


SeaShell Photo Gallery's GoFundMe page.
SeaShell Photo Gallery's GoFundMe page. Cas Garvey

SeaShell Photo Gallery

Michelle Andrews started a GoFundMe page after she lost everything in the weekend's blaze. She says:

Hello, my name is Michelle Andrews and many of you may know me from the Art Gallery in the Whitsunday shopping center, I've never had to reach out and ask for help before but I now find myself in the most devastating of situations.

On Sunday the 3rd of April a massive fire tore through the Whitsunday Shopping center here in Cannonvale, destroying many businesses including the Art Whitsunday Gallery where I worked.

I volunteered my time for free 5 days a week to keep the gallery open and in exchange I was allowed to run my archive printing lab, photographic restoration and editing business from there in lieu of any payment.

The entire building has been utterly destroyed and my insurance unfortunately didn't cover me, likewise Art Whitsundays insurance didn't cover me either so I've just lost everything.

I now have no way to replace any of my equipment and no way to repay the loan I had to take out last November to replace my older wide format archive printer which broke and was unrepairable so I just replaced it with a new model which is now lost forever in the fire which has torn the heart out of our entire community.

I've no right to ask for your help as I'm sure there are others worse off than me right now but my first concern right now is repaying back the loan money I borrowed as the people I borrowed it from are doing it tough too and I should never have asked for their financial help in the first place, I feel so guilty for making their life more difficult. Perhaps once I've repayed them I can start trying to pick up the pieces of my business and make it great once again.

I'm so used to being the one who looks after others it feels quite embarrassing to be in a position where I have to ask for help but I have no other place to go for help right now...... no one expects such a run of bad luck in such a very short time.

Any help, no matter how small you can provide will be most humbly appreciated.

Donate HERE.


Owners of Urban Village Homewares Kim Andrews and Sharon McNeill outside the Whitsunday Shopping Centre yesterday. Photo Peter Carruthers / Whitsunday Times
Owners of Urban Village Homewares Kim Andrews and Sharon McNeill outside the Whitsunday Shopping Centre yesterday. Photo Peter Carruthers / Whitsunday Times Peter Carruthers

Urban Village Homewares

WHITSUNDAY Shopping Centre management hasn't yet let Kim Andrews back into her shop after Sunday night's fire.  

She has seen the photos taken by insurance investigators so she understands exactly why - there is nothing left.

Urban Village was one of nine businesses to be engulfed by the inferno that mercilessly destroyed everything in its path three days ago.  

"The whole place is incinerated. There is no other way to put it. It's dust. There is nothing left" she said.

"Sharon and I are just devastated. We haven't just lost our livelihood, we have lost everything."  

The silver lining - or as Kim put it, "the rainbow after the rain" - was that the business was fully insured.  

Kim said she expected it to be some time before her business was up and running again in the Whitsunday Shopping Centre. But she said the shopping centre management had been doing everything possible to restore a sense of normality.  

"Everyone is behind our businesses and they do need to be congratulated on what they have done," she said.   Kim said the businesses operating in the centre were like a family.  

"We see these guys every day," she explained, "whether it's to get our coffee, we get our hair done, we bank here, we buy our beer here, we buy our groceries here - it's our shopping centre family."   

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