Cairns businesses are renowned for helping others in the community with many local business owners donating time, resources and money towards worthwhile causes. And once a year they are called upon to throw their support behind one of the city’s major community fundraising events.
FNQ Emergency Services Association (FNQESA) is hopeful local businesses will join in and sponsor the QBANK FNQ Emergency Services Charity Ball August 3 to help raise much-needed funds for Street Level Youth Care (SLYC) after the non-profit organisation was forced to stop its services because of a substantial loss of funds due to unfortunate circumstances.
SLYC assists local young people in need, providing food and other emergency services and general care to help change their lives and guide them towards a positive direction.
“We’ve had excellent response from local businesses since we started the ball five years ago,” says FNQ Emergency Services Association President John-Byron Bacalakis. “We’re hoping for the same support this year.”
The gala event, which has moved to the Cairns Convention Centre this year, has been growing in attendance every year since its inception and is expecting to reach 500 guests this year.
“The popularity of the event, which is open to everyone in the community, keeps growing,” John-Byron says. “At our first event, which was to raise money for the survivors and families of the Ravenshoe café explosion, we had about 280 guests and raised $24,000. Last year we had 426 people attend, and we raised $40,000 for the FNQ Youth Assistant Fund. Every year it just keeps getting bigger and bigger.”
Businesses can show their support to this worthwhile cause by becoming a platinum, gold, silver or bronze sponsor, by booking a corporate table or by promoting and attending the event.
The black-tie ball kicks off with an hour of welcome drinks and canapes at 5.30pm, followed by a few formal speeches, silent auctions, live auctions, a three-course dinner, basic beer, wine and soft drinks and live entertainment by the band Soul2U, which plays a huge range of music suited to all tastes.
“The band was started by a colleague firefighter of mine, and they offer their services free of charge and have done so every year since we started,” says John-Byron. “We’re also going to have a bit of a side-show alley with fun and games.”
“Not only is the evening a great night overall, it also gives the community the opportunity to come, join in and celebrate the emergency services.”
FNQESA includes the Queensland Fire and Rescue Services, Queensland Ambulance Services, Queensland Police Services and State Emergency Services.
John-Byron started the ball after two of his colleagues were injured in the Ravenshoe café explosion to raise much-needed funds for the survivors and families of the victims of the tragic event.
“After the fantastic response from the first year, we decided to make the ball an annual event to support a local non-government-funded organisation that needs help,” John-Byron said. “We make sure the funds we raise stay in the region and help local organisations, which is why we hope local businesses will jump on board and help support this worthwhile and fun event.”