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ChrysantheMUM’s the word as auction raises $1600

Mother's Day flowers
Kym, Erin and John Walsh with the winning bunch of chrysanthemums as part of Endeavour Foundation's first Mother's Day auction.

A local family has splashed some cash on chrysanthemums all in the name of a good cause as part of Bundaberg Endeavour Foundation's inaugural Mother's Day flower auction.

Avocado farmers John and Kym Walsh were the winning bidders of the Bundaberg-grown flowers at the auction held at the organisation on Fitzgerald Street last week.

The family raised the stakes from what is normally a $15 bunch of chrysanthemums to a whopping $1600, with a little help from their 22-year-old daughter Erin.

The local Endeavour Foundation worker, who has been assisting with the annual Mother's Day chrysanthemum harvest, was keen to tactically outbid her mum and dad to keep the dollar amount rising.

She was helped by the involvement of more than 60 support workers who embraced the auction atmosphere and made their own bids.

John and Kym later jokingly admitted to wondering how high their daughter was willing to go for the charity auction.

“It was quite a competitive bidding process we went through!” they laughed.

The stunning bouquet, picked fresh from the on-site farm, was gifted to Kym's 99-year-old grandmother later that day, making for a beautiful early Mother's Day present.

The couple said they were thrilled to have been able to support a cause close to their hearts.

“The flowers signify a lot, they signify the hard work of Endeavour and they recognise the important role that mother's play in society,” they said.

“The flowers cost $1600 but at the end of the day it is about the joy we have contributing to a place like Endeavour.

Mother's Day flowers
Kym, Erin and John Walsh with the winning bunch of chrysanthemums as part of Endeavour Foundation's first Mother's Day auction.

“Our daughter, Erin, has been at Endeavour for over six years now and she loves coming to work and achieving things.

“She is also learning different things and coming home with certificates.

“As parents we are very proud and very happy.”

The auction marked the Endeavour Foundation's 30 years of growing chrysanthemums in Bundaberg for Mother’s Day.

Endeavour Foundation CEO David Swain said the inaugural auction event also included the picking of the first 2022 flowers as part of the yearly Mother's Day harvest at the Bundaberg farm.

“The Endeavour Foundation farm supports people with disabilities by providing great opportunities to engage in the world of work while showcasing a real celebration of ability,” he said.

“This is our very first auction and we hope it becomes a tradition in the Bundaberg community.

“We had no expectations, for us it is about the celebration of all abilities and the great work of the Endeavour Foundation in Bundaberg.”

David said the money raised would stay in the region and go towards the efforts in supporting people with disabilities to access open employment while providing opportunities long into the future.

“I am so happy with the outcome and spirit of the auction,” he said.

Mother's Day flowers
Wayne Horton, Gavin Chapman, Bill Bastable and Blake Cummerow from Endeavour Foundation with some fresh chrysanthemums.

“The flowers themselves have been growing for six months in a carefully controlled environment so they bloom just in time for Mother's Day.

“In the lead up, we have up to 60 people volunteering to pick flowers and we couldn't make this happen without them!”

David said the locally-grown chrysanthemums were available from a variety of stores throughout Queensland for about $15 and made the perfect Mother's Day gift.

“The hint is in the name- chrysantheMUM!” he said.

“The Greek terminology is ‘golden' and who doesn't want to give their mum gold for Mother's Day?”

Find out more about the Endeavour Foundation here.

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