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Rotary gives back to local groups

By Mark Beale

COMMUNITY spirit was alive and well at the Reef Gateway Hotel on Monday afternoon, with the presentation of the Rotary Club of Airlie Beach / My Whitsunday Rotary Phone Guide Beneficiaries.

Each year, Whitsunday businesses that purchase advertisements in the community guide, or full page feature ads, nominate a community group to receive half the cost of their ad payments.

The My Whitsunday phone book is 30-years-old this year and more than $10 million has been raised over that time.

This year, a total of $16,850 was handed out to 13 beneficiaries nominated by 17 businesses.

The presentation coincided with the 110th birthday of Rotary International, making the event extra special. The evening was opened by Rotary Club of Airlie Beach president Allan Robinson and Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Jennifer Whitney.

Mayor Whitney said she was pleased to be in attendance.

“This is a fantastic initiative of the Rotary Club of Airlie Beach which funnels money back into the community for not-for-profit organisations as a result of local businesses advertising in the rotary phone book,” she said.

The majority of the club’s funds for numerous one-off and special assistance programs come from the My Whitsunday phone guide.

Surplus funds are reserved for community work and some international assistance such as recent work in Timor.

A great example is how these funds pay for the organisation and all the prizes for the annual Community Raffle.

The Community Raffle is unique in that roughly 100 local non-profit and sporting groups sell raffle tickets for substantial prizes but then keep the money from the ticket sales.

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