The local community has raised more than $20,000 for Bundaberg Junior Rugby League in yesterday's Maroons Fan Day Luncheon at the Bundaberg Multiplex.
Through Bundaberg Regional Council raffles and three major auction items from QRL, the 360-strong crowd that attended the luncheon was more than keen to throw its support behind the event.
The luncheon was part of the Maroons Fan Day which saw almost 5000 people enjoying a carnival-like atmosphere with Maroons legends and current players.
Bundaberg Junior Rugby League President Wayne Bender and Secretary Christine Hicks were in attendance and said it was a fantastic event.
“It was absolutely fantastic, we were invited to sit with the Mayor along with two of our canteen volunteers,” Christine said.
“They were absolutely thrilled with the whole thing and were like excited teenagers!”
Christine said the event as a whole was a highlight for the Bundaberg Junior Rugby League association, especially for the children involved on the day.
“I think one of the best parts was when the kids got to form a guard of honour at the airport when the players arrived,” she said.
“Seeing the looks on their faces, it was really special.”
Upon hearing of the $20,000 raised for the BJRL as part of the luncheon event, Christine said she was blown away by the support.
“Wow, I never expected anything like that,” she said.
“That's amazing… that amount of money will go a long way.”
And while the luncheon was interrupted with an evacuation for a short time after a fire alarm went off within the building, Christine said nothing could put a dampener on the well-run event.
“Overall, the whole day was amazing and it was such a fantastic event for the community to get involved in,” Christine said.
“Especially after the year we all have had, it's been great to have something to enjoy and experience.”
Mayor Jack Dempsey said the day was a huge success.
“It was fantastic to see so many Maroons supporters enjoying this terrific event,” he said.
“As well as our many excited local footy fans, there were also people from Hervey Bay, Gladstone and even Ipswich who made the trip to take part in all the fun at the Multiplex.
“I would like to thank our Council team for working with QRL and Auswide to put together such a well-organised event and of course the Mighty Maroons for visiting our beautiful Bundaberg Region and the many amazing volunteers!”