More than 500 members of the Sunshine Coast community converged on The Events Centre in Caloundra for the annual Wishlist Spring Carnival Lunch on September 16, raising over $152,157 to buy life-saving equipment and to bring the Clown Doctors to the Sunshine Coast paediatric ward.
The organising committee also celebrated achieving the milestone of over $1 million raised since the lunch was first launched eight years ago.
The event — which was sponsored by Coastline BMW amongst others — saw high profile personalities including entertainer Sam Kekovich and Channel 7’s Tony Auden venture to Caloundra to participate in the fundraising effort.
Organising committee chairman Tim Ryan said the funds raised would facilitate the purchase of a General Surgery Flex Focus 800 B-K Ultrasound – a vital piece of equipment to streamline surgical procedures for local cancer patients — as well as funding Clown Doctors to spend time on the paediatric wards with sick Sunshine Coast kids.
“Wishlist can now become the sole sponsor of Clown Doctors on the Coast to treat children in hospital with medicine of a different kind – with doses of fun and laughter,” Mr Ryan said.
“Through using oversized medical equipment, ‘red nose’ transplants, ‘cat’ scans, humour checks and funny bone examinations, fear and anxiety are significantly reduced.”
“The benefits of laughter are real – it relaxes the muscles, helps the immune system, reduces pain, assists in promoting a positive outlook and has a good effect on the cardiovascular and respiratory system.”
As part of the day’s proceedings, guests were treated to a performance by the cast of Jesus Christ Superstar and entertained by one of Australia’s media personalities, Sam Kekovich. The silent and live auctions were also a major component of the event, with more than 100 items going under the hammer.
Some of the major auction items and the amount they raised included a five-night escape to Peregian Beach ($5000), a four day Bali retreat ($4700), bilateral laser eye surgery by Lasersight ($4500), a Romantic getaway to the Clovelly Ultimate Escape in Maleny ($6000), a corporate package at the Big Kart Track ($6000), and a Kendall painting ($9000).
Wishlist CEO Lisa Rowe said both Sunshine Coast residents and businesses had gone above and beyond when it came to supporting this year’s event, having donated a range of prizes and bid on auction items in the name of charity.
“The Sunshine Coast community is always fantastic at getting behind a good cause and we’re so grateful to all those who helped to make this year’s Wishlist Spring Carnival Lunch a success,” Ms Rowe said.
For more information, please visit www.wishlist.org.au.