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Existing VMR vessel that will be replaced with funding from QCoal Foundation

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QCoal Foundation gets on board in Bowen with $50,000 donation

The QCoal Foundation (QCF) has announced it will donate $50,000 towards the purchase of a much-needed new rescue vessel for Volunteer Marine Rescue Bowen (VMR).

QCF Chairman Christopher Wallin said the Foundation was proud to play a part in an exciting new chapter in VMR Bowen’s future, which is all about keeping local families, workers and visitors safe on the water.

“The Foundation supports initiatives that improve regional and remote access to better health and education opportunities, or in the case of VMR Bowen, enhances community liveability,” he said.

“We believe helping fund a major upgrade to a regional marine rescue service in a fishing, boating and tourist hub like Bowen is a great investment in this community’s lifestyle and amenity.”

VMR Bowen is a volunteer-run service which has operated in the area for the past 50 years.

The service is desperate to replace its ageing 18-year-old vessel, believed to be one of the oldest rescue vessels in Queensland, with a safer, more capable and technologically advanced vessel.

VMR Bowen Fundraising Committee Coordinator Ted Gatkowski said he was “absolutely over the moon” to receive such a substantial donation from the QCoal Foundation.

“The size of this donation is a major game-changer for our efforts to purchase a new vessel, and we’re extremely grateful for the Foundation’s support,” Mr Gatkowski said.

“I know our volunteers and the people who have been supporting our fundraising for many years will be thrilled that while fundraising efforts will continue, we’re now able to order our new vessel and building contract formalities have already commenced.”

“I hope the Foundation’s announcement encourages other organisations in the Bowen Basin to do whatever they can to support our fundraising, because it’s to everyone’s benefit to have a properly resourced marine rescue service in this region,” he said.

“You never know when it’s going to be you, or your family, or an employee or client who needs our help out on the water.”

The QCoal Foundation funds health, education and liveability projects in regional and remote Queensland through its Community Grant program. The next closing date for applications is 30 April, 2020.