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Clubs and patrons can help cyclone-affected residents get back on their feet

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Sunshine Coast clubs and their customers are raising vital funds for North Queenslanders who were hit by severe weather events this summer.

Local surf lifesaving, sport, RSL, cultural, golf and bowls organisations, and their patrons, are getting behind Operation ClubsCare, launched by Clubs Queensland.

The campaign is raising money during February for those left reeling by the double blow of Tropical Cyclones Jasper and Kirrily, which left a trail of destruction.

The initiative is tapping into the Queenslander spirit and has already reached half of its fundraising target of $250,000 in just a few weeks.

Residents and visitors can play an important role just by eating, drinking or buying a raffle ticket at their local clubs.

Sunshine Coasters have been asked to visit their local club and look for the specials that will help communities get back on their feet.

Alex Surf Club is among the clubs generating a wave of support for North Queenslanders impacted by the cyclones, which struck either side of Christmas.

Alex Surf Club captain Neil Grimshaw and general manager Helen Butler. Picture: Patrick Woods

General manager Helen Butler said the club was promoting a ‘Fish and Chips for Queensland’s North’ meal every weekend in February in its Bistro, Bluff Bar and Kiosk, with $2 from each dish donated to the initiative.

“Sunshine Coast people are very generous and supportive of those who need a helping hand,” she said.

“Our patrons have been huge supporters of surf lifesaving and keeping our beaches safe and I’m sure will try and help those in the north if they can.

“We will promote this around the club and as fish and chips is one of our most popular dishes, we hope to raise some much-needed funds for those impacted. We are proud to be part of this initiative with our sister surf clubs.”

Caloundra RSL has introduced a unique member rewards promotion in which members donate reward points and the club matches them for every dollar.

So far, it has raised more than $5000.

Seth Harriss’ home in Cairns was almost totally destroyed. Clubs around the state are raising funds to help people in North Queensland who were battered by cyclones. Picture: Brian Cassey/AAP

Sunshine Beach SLSC’s Supporters’ Club is also getting behind the appeal.

General manager Julie Strudwick said her club would make a donation to The Surf Club Palm Cove, which served an area hit hard by Ex-TC Jasper before Christmas.

“In smaller towns, clubs play such a huge role, especially in a crisis,” she said.

“They are at ground zero during the event, helping provide meeting places and emergency centres, and then as the towns recover, are so important for the health and wellbeing of communities, as well as the continuation of employment.

“We are happy to do our bit to help and so are our patrons and staff.”

Ms Strudwick, who is also the zone representative for Clubs Queensland, encouraged other clubs to join in the fundraising effort.

She said ideas that had worked well in the past included donating $1 from every garlic bread sold, or beer poured or running special raffles, during the campaign period.

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