Hosts Julie Hands and Ian Wells at the Bloody Big Barbecue last weekend.
Hosts Julie Hands and Ian Wells at the Bloody Big Barbecue last weekend. Georgia Simpson

The bloody big barbecue raises money for charity

IT WAS a bloody big barbecue, and it raised over a thousand dollars for a cancer charity.

Tucked away in the mangroves in Lethebrook is a property called Heathrow and owners Julie Hands and Ian Wells hosted a barbecue last weekend to raise money for the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia.

The barbecues are run by the Bush Flyers Down Under and are occurring across the country throughout March.

"It's as much about raising awareness as it is money, as blokes hate talking about it," Ms Hands told the Whitsunday Coast Guardian.

Ms Hands said 12 local pilots flew in for the fundraiser, 40 cars from the Whitsunday Restoration Club and the Mackay Car Club, eight motorbikes, a penny farthing and a unicycle were present.

"I had bought 130 plates and I had three left at the end of the day," she said.

Attendees paid a $10 entry fee, which provided them with a good old fashioned Aussie feed of a snag in fluffy white bread, topped with onion.

The day was kept simple, as the focus was on squeezing as much money as possible into the donation tin, and at the end of the day $1923 was counted up.

Ms Hands said with all the vehicles and planes, it was quite the spectacle, almost an impromptu mini car show.

Bush Flyers Down under has about 3000 members globally, but Ms Hands said there were about 500 that reside in Australia.

Members mostly fly out of farm trips in regional and country towns, as their licences don't permit them to fly into major airports.

"Quite frankly we prefer to stay out in the country anyway," she said.

Ms Hands said the colours and shapes she had witnessed while flying were incredible.

"You can see where rivers have previously flowed and the contours around the earth are visible in way that many people get to see," she said. "We do live in an absolutely beautiful place."


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