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Festival notches multimillion-dollar milestone raising 'vital' funds for groups

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The increasingly popular Sunshine Coast Marathon Festival has reached a $2m milestone.

That’s how much the event has raised for charities since it started in 2012.

In celebration, the event organisers will host a lunch on Friday, November 24, where they will hand over more than $50,000 to the two major beneficiaries of the 2023 event, Ronald McDonald House Charities SEQ and Westpac Rescue Helicopters.

Ronald McDonald House Charities CEO Emma Thompson said the funds were crucial.

“We are so grateful to be one of the charity partners for this year’s Sunshine Coast Marathon Festival and congratulate everyone involved for such an incredible achievement,” she said.

“With this generous support we can continue our mission of supporting the ever-changing needs of seriously ill or injured children and their families,” she said.

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Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service chief pilot Paul Gibson said the money could make a significant difference.

“The fundraising and ongoing support received from both Westpac and the Sunshine Coast Marathon is vital in equipping our crew so they can continue to perform their jobs,” he said.

The course takes in Alexandra Headland.

“For example, it can cost approximately $10,000 to outfit one crew member with uniforms, helmets and safety equipment, therefore, every dollar counts”.

“We are extremely grateful to have the continued support from our partners and also the local community.”

The festival has become one of Australia’s premier running events, bringing together thousands of participants, volunteers and spectators. It is organised by Atlas Events.

Atlas Events managing director Jason Crowther said the festival was important for several reasons.

“The Sunshine Coast Marathon Festival has always been about more than just running; it’s about bringing people together to support important causes,” he said.

“We look forward to handing over more than $50,000 to Ronald McDonald House Charities SEQ and Westpac Rescue Helicopters, two organisations that do incredible work for our community.”

People of all ages and abilities take part in the festival.

The festival’s profile is set to be bolstered in coming years, after the announcement that the Olympic and Paralympic marathon events will be held on the Sunshine Coast in 2032.

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