Parties fund a cause

"HERE in the Whitsundays we have good days and we have great days and today is a great day," said Andrew Willcox, who described Saturday's Shag Islet Cruising Yacht Club Rendezvous as the best event he'd attended in three years of being deputy mayor.

About 700 people agreed with him, flocking to the event in the Gloucester Passage that over the course of its three days raised a record $82k for the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia, and included a party on tiny Shag Islet and fancy dress parties at the Montes and Cape Gloucester resorts.

SICYC founder Ken Thackeray said the generosity of those present was boundless, with people shaving their heads, selling costumes and even walking the plank in the name of charity.

As well as raising funds, the event was about raising awareness of the disease that's as prevalent among Australian men as breast cancer is among women.

Queensland Chair of the PCFA, Distinguished Professor Judith Clements, who attended the symbolic "Hands Across the Blue" component on Saturday morning, said people needed to know prostate cancer wasn't a disease that affected only older men, with an increasingly younger demographic being diagnosed each year.

Professor Clements and Mr Thackeray said their goal now was to spread the message beyond the Whitsundays, with the hope that on the last Saturday of August each year, other boating, fishing and surf lifesaving clubs might hold hands across the blue ahead of Prostate Cancer Month in September.

Mr Thackeray thanked the event's major sponsors, Paul Darrouzet from the Abell Point Marina and Maria Dwyer from Oceanic Marine Risks, the latter of whom even launched a special boat insurance policy for SICYC members over the weekend.

"It's been a great roll-up of very supportive people and we've had 45 volunteers that have been working their butts off to make it a success," he said.

"We're a very lucky club."


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