Volunteers swell funds
By SALLY GORDON
THE Clarence community and visitors to the area have helped the Iluka-Yamba Coast Guard raise more than $12,000 in its annual fundraiser raffle.
Every year for the past four years, the voluntary-run coastal protection group has held a fundraiser to help cover running costs.
The prize is a 3.9metre Spacer Proline runabout, sporting a 25horsepower motor.
This year Bradley Schaefer, of east Lismore, was the lucky winner.
The coast guard deputy commander Jean McKenna and the owners of the Iluka Boat Shed, who sold the tinny to the coast guard, presented the young winner with his Easter prize on Thursday at Iluka.
Ms McKenna said the fundraiser was the coast guard's major revenue raiser that provided vital funds to pay for electricity and phone bills, buy radios and maintain the coast guard rescue vessel.
"The raffles over the years have done extremely well and kept us afloat, despite all the new equipment we have to buy and the running costs of the base," Ms McKenna said.
Although coast guard volunteers were more than happy with this year's fundraising efforts, Ms McKenna said the total amount was down on last year's figures. She believed it could have been a case of donor fatigue.
"This year we didn't do quite so well because of the tsunami appeal. When we'd go to the shopping centre to sell tickets there would be someone there collecting for that ... al- though, I think that has made a hole in every charity, really," she said.
The coast guard does not receive regular government fund- ing.