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Fund Raising for the Royal Far West
Personal Development & Community

Why were you inspired to do this?

Royal Far West offer health care services to kids from Outback Australia through its facilities located on Manly Beach in Sydney. It gives families a place to stay while thier kids get the treatment in the city hospitals they would otherwise miss out on "in the bush". Living in Manly by the beautiful beach, it is very easy to take things for granted. I wanted to give something back to those who would really appreciate it; being a father myself, it only seemed natural to let the kids enjoy the fun surrounding of the beach, whilst getting the treatment the so badly needed. I choose to organise an art auction, with the proceeds going towards the purchase of a minibus to allow the kids to be transported around Sydney to the various hospitals fo treatment. We called the project "Art with a Heart"

What were 3 things you did to make this happen?

As Royal Far West was founded in 1924, they were well known within the local community and people became quickly enrolled in the project. A local Hotel agreed to host the auction and provide refreshments; an art supplier supplied all the painting materials; an art studio faciliated a painting day; a web designer designed a website for the auction, and a PR company ensured we had the necessary coverage on radio and in the newspapers

Well known Artists and Celebrities agreed to donate art work to auction at no charge, despite the fact that this is how they make their living. We even had people who’d never painted in their life before come along to the art studio and have a go. It was a fantastic effort and we had assembled over 50 painting come auction day

The generosity of the community blew me away. We had over 200 people attend the auction, and we had an auctioneer give his time to encourage the crowd. There was no encouragement needed, as bidding was intense, with surfing/beach themes in great demand. At the end of the night we’d raised $25,000, and with no costs, we were able to pass on the whole amount to Royal Far West

How did you feel once you had accomplished this?

The whole exercise renewed my faith in humanity. I was staggered by the generosity of people, not only for putting their hands in the pockets, but also for giving their time and expertise. It’s amazing what you can achieve as a community when you have a common goal. I felt humbled and proud to have been able to give something back to the Outback kids.

Additional notes and tips:

"Art with a Heart", together with a similar sized fund raising intiative were able to purchase a minibus for Royal Far West (see photo's). I regularly see it driving around Manly, full of happy little faces. The website still exists, where you can view all the wonderful artwork that made the auction possible


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