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Turtley awesome fundraising effort

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Cr Wayne Honor and Mayor Jack Dempsey hand over the cheque for $23,000 to Sea Turtle Alliance President Ainsley Gatley

Guests at the Milbi Gala Ball didn’t just enjoy an elegant evening of entertainment, they also dug deep for a good cause, raising $23,000 for the Sea Turtle Alliance.

The alliance was named as the charity recipient for the inaugural event, held as part of the 2021 Milbi Festival and the early Christmas present was recently delivered to the group of very happy volunteers.

The Sea Turtle Alliance was incorporated in July 2015 to advocate on behalf of the endangered marine creatures which frequent the shores of the Bundaberg Region.

Home to the world-renowned Mon Repos turtle rookery, the volunteer-based organisation is dedicated to raising awareness about the ways in which the Bundaberg Region community can work together to protect sea turtles.

Mayor Jack Dempsey congratulated everyone who had played a role in securing the substantial donation for the group.

“The Milbi Festival is more than just a good time,” Mayor Dempsey said.

“It’s an important initiative which raises cultural awareness and places a focus on marine life and the ways in which we can conserve and protect our endangered species.

“So a massive thank you to everyone who attended this event and helped to raise the funds and all of the businesses and staff who made it possible.

“For a locally based and locally run organisation like the Sea Turtle Alliance, $23,000 can certainly make a substantial difference and I look forward to seeing the projects and initiatives which their volunteers can progress with these funds for the benefit of turtles and our community.”

Sea Turtle Alliance president Ainsley Gatley said the funds were vital to the group, which relied solely on donations and the commitment of its dedicated group of volunteers.

“It’s our only source of income so donations like this also allow us to apply for grants and leverage that money to make that donation more,” Ainsley said.

“Absolutely thrilled to get that money, it’s fantastic.”

The group is excited to reveal their plans for the funds in coming months, hinting at some new projects which will continue the alliance’s charter and benefit the region’s nesting beaches.

“We will be doing a business plan and looking at what projects we want to focus on and certainly this gives us a lot more leverage now because we do have some money in the bank to be able to do that.”

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