Home' Scoop : Scoop 52 Winter 2010 Contents 88 scoop WINTER 2010
BELIEF. HOPE. CHALLENGE. Teamwork. All strong,
inspiring words that have been closely associated
with a voyage on the Leeuwin II since it began its
youth development program and group sailing trips
in 1986. But recently the Leeuwin Ocean Adventure
Foundation has experienced some rough waters.
In spite of its documented success in operating
programs for young people, people with disabilities
and disadvantaged youths, Leeuwin was receiving
no regular funding from the various government
departments with whom it worked so closely. Instead,
it had to apply for grants each year.
Last year the Foundation was able to offer 37
voyages but subsidising many of the trips meant the
organisation was running at a loss. A government
bail-out last October held off financial ruin, but this
year the tall ship will undertake just 16 voyages,
operating under a budget reduced from $2.5
million to $1.3 million a year.
Half the Foundation's full-time staff accepted
redundancies, but such is their dedication to
Leeuwin that many have returned as volunteers to
the youth development program, which is regularly
credited with turning lives around.
In April the State Government announced
a funding package of $200,000 a year over a
three-year period. It was a huge relief for the
Foundation, which welcomed the breathing
space the funding has brought.
"We're not out of the woods yet, but this is
a good stepping stone, says Foundation chief
operating officer Chris Blake.
"We are sustainable and this funding will help us
get set up as an established, viable entity which will
Leeuwin sails through
hopefully encourage more businesses to come
on board with sponsorship."
Woodside is also a major sponsor and continues
to provide support to the Foundation.
While the Foundation's core business is working
with young people, berths are available for people
of all ages willing to learn the ropes, and past sailors
have said it was a life-changing experience.
Day-sailing (various options are available) is a
great bonding experience for family, friends and
colleagues, while Youth Explorer Voyages highlight
youth development and Ultimate Challenge voyages
are run for people with disabilities. These voyages
enable both participants and volunteers to push their
physical limitations in a safe, nurturing environment.
The aim is for everyone on board to develop
communication skills and the ability to work in a
team doing something that's both physically and
emotionally challenging, encouraging young people
to reach their potential. The Leeuwin II is the only
sail training ship in Australia to offer such programs.
Workpower Incorporated, a not-for-profit body
that provides employment and opportunities for
people with disabilities, undertook a voyage last
year. Manager Leslie Vaughan (who was happily
roped in as a volunteer) was thrilled with the results.
"Our employees were excited and challenged by
the trip," she says. "The experience was unique and
they developed valuable life skills. It was extremely
beneficial and we hope the program can continue."
The ship is also available for hire and can be
chartered for day-long functions, evening events
and even for longer voyages. sm
Call (08) 9430 4105 or visit www.sailleeuwin.com.
LEEUWIN PICTURE Leon Holmes
Sail training ship Leeuwin has been struggling to find
funds to stay afloat. While a new commitment from the
State Government will help, and volunteers are invaluable, it
needs a lot more to keep this ship on the water. text tamzen george
Ronald McDonald House
Charities Ball | THIS IS THE sort
of event when you can direct your love of
dressing up, dining well and dancing the
night away into a fantastically good cause.
One of the most prestigious events on
Perth s social calendar, the annual Ronald
McDonald House Charities Mercedes-Benz
Ball will be held at the Burswood Ballroom
on Saturday, November 6. This year s theme
is passion, and the very passionate Australian
rocker Jimmy Barnes will be the headline act.
Each year Perth s Ronald McDonald
House provides a home away from home for
the families of seriously ill children who
need to have sustained treatment.
Princess Margaret Hospital also has a
Ronald McDonald family room to brighten
up hospital visits and there are a range of
other services to help sick kids including a
learning program to catch up on schoolwork,
and family retreats in Jurien and Bunbury.
They are always looking for volunteers
to help out in the houses, and donations, of
course, but if having a magnificent night out
will help, why wouldn t you do it? Last year s
ball raised a record $700,000 and this year
promises to be even bigger and better.
Get in early, tickets often sell out quickly. Go to
Ronald McDonald House head office or contact
Nicola Bedwood on (08) 9243 6811, nicola.
WA Charity Direct
Ever thought about where your money is going
when you make a donation? You hear so much
about overheads and commissions, you might well
wonder. And what about the great small charities
struggling to raise funds? WACharitydirect deals
with both these issues.
Formed in 2004, by a group of business people,
members make a tax-deductible donation of $2000
per annum, and must invite two new members to
join in their second year. All funds -- 100 percent
-- go to the charities and WACharityDirect focuses
on individuals and families in need, and smaller
charities. To date $800,000 has been raised and
recipients include The Esther Foundation and
Cancer Support Association, as well as individuals
like Jamie DeCosta, a three-year-old boy suffering
from a complex form of cerebral palsy.
Champion boxer Danny Green is the patron
and local PR whiz Bonnie Bullock of Saranac PR
is a trustee. For more information about this charity,
go to www.wacharitydirect.com.au.
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