From the President's Desk

From the President's Desk

Good Morning Rotarians and Friends,

This weekend we have our District Conference at Goondiwindi.  This will be great time to catch up with many people but more importantly we get the chance to promote our club and its projects.  E-Club Members Kay Danes and Ian Yarker will be doing a presentation or two, so the e-Club is well represented this year. During one of Ian's presentations we get to promote our Birdsville Race Project and I would like to bring you up to speed with where I am at with this.  

Firstly, I would like to welcome all of new Members who have joined us in 2015, welcome aboard and I hope you enjoy the journey.  Tara is obviously coming up to speed with her new role as President about to begin in less than 12 weeks and Ian and Heather along with Angelo and Sheryl leave on the Cape York Tag Along Tour.

We must have a Board Meeting next Thursday night, 23rd April 2015 and we also need to decide on how we will conduct our change over meeting this year.  If a lot of our Members who are not local would like the changeover to be broadcast on GoToMeeting then please let us know so we can choose an appropriate time.

Anzac Day is getting close, Saturday 25th April 2015 marks the 100 year Anniversary and this will be a very memorable day this year.  Anzac Day means so much to so many people and a lot of people give thanks to those who paid the ultimate price in their own special way.

We now have a fundraising project to tie our Birdsville fundraising together, as this project grows and as we increase our capacity to fundraise I figured it was important that people who help had an understanding of just where the funds raised would finish up.  We now are working to support Mental Health in Rural and Regional Qld as provided by the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) and this programme is run as the RFDS Counselling and Well-being Programme.

Longreach is the location for the RFDS Mental health hub and both Longreach and Cairns deliver their social and emotional well-being programmes to many centres and out-stations in Rural and Regional Qld.  Rotary now has the opportunity to support the people in these areas through very difficult times with a very good programme that is in place, totally operational and successful.  This programme receives both Federal and State Government funding and sadly it is severely lacking in the overall cost expended to provide this service.

Birdsville Race Day Fundraising Effort... I have an offer from Virgin Australia, I have a plan and we have a Project.

The Birdsville Fly in Fly out Race Day Bucket Wish List Trip

At 7am on Saturday morning 46 paying passengers will leave Brisbane Airport for a 2 hour flight to Birdsville.  On disembarking the FIFO Race Day revellers will walk to the Community Centre for breakfast provided by the e-Club and then they will be transported by coach to the race-course.

We will have a special marquee for the Race Day Revellers to meet and rest in, lunch will be provided along with copious amounts of bottled water and they will be there to enjoy the races. The coach will return them to the Town Centre where they will be free to view the town; enjoy the festival mood in town; grab a beer from the famous Birdsville Hotel; then walk on to their plane for a two hour flight back to Brisbane, hopefully touching down at 7.30 pm.

We are charging $2000 per person for this experience. It has been designed for those people who have always wanted to attend the Birdsville Race but now due to health, distance (a four day drive), no accommodation (other than a tent) and many other reasons will find this an attractive option.

If WE can do this successfully, $1000 per ticket sold goes to the RFDS Counselling and Well-being Programme if the plane is full.  That is $46000 from this if we sell all 46 tickets.

If we sell 92 tickets then two planes are flying.  WE have a lot or work to do and I really want to thank my VIRGIN contact, as his quote made this possible.  I have a lot of finalising to do yet but we need ticket sales fast to lock down the deal.  Next year we will be aiming for two planes from the start, moving to three the year after.

Our usual Birdsville Fundraising Programme is going to be bigger than last year too and we have all the activities of last year plus more, so our team of 20 plus for 10 days still rules, it will be a busy year this year and our planning is going well.

Wishing you all the very best for this coming week, a great Rotary Conference and an early arising on Anzac Day, I will be flying in from Melbourne Friday Night to drive to Goondiwindi, hoping to be there around 8.30 pm, so late as usual, oh well.