Stevie's reef dream a step closer thanks to pub donation
EIGHT months ago, Gayndah's Kreis family booked their trip of a lifetime, a seven-day Great Barrier Reef Discovery cruise on the Pacific Dawn.
While the family hasn't been on a trip together in two years, this trip has a special motive: to allow son Stevie, who has Down syndrome, a chance to fulfil his dream of seeing the vivid corals of the Great Barrier Reef.
Stevie can't snorkel, so the family have booked a day-trip on a glass-bottom boat.
Dad Doug said Stevie is so excited for the trip, he's been collecting cruise booklets and is addicted to the Channel 7 show, Mighty Cruise Ships.
The only problem: the family didn't have the money at the time to pay for it all.
Sister Stephanie said for the past three months, the family has been roaming around Gayndah district, out to Ban Ban Springs, Gooroolba, Reids Creek and down Gayndah Mundubbera Rd, collecting empty cans and bottles for the 10 cent refund.
"I reckon we've covered about 70km,” she said.
The family raised around $3000 this way, and also helped reunite some people with lost items: they have come across a phone, license plates, a wallet and a barrel of herbicide during their roaming.
Golden Orange Hotel Motel owners Ken and Lorraine Mogg were made aware that the Kreis' were collecting empties.
They offered their empties to Stevie and went one better: they would direct one month's worth of Sunday afternoon meat tray raffle funds to the Kreis family.
On Sunday, they announced the result: $2400 had been raised for the Kreis'.
Doug said the Moggs "had hearts of gold.”
"They do so much for the community, we would love for Ken and Lorraine to be recognised for what they do in the community,” Doug said.
"They're an asset to the town,” Stephanie said.
"They don't get the credit they deserve,” mum Debbie added.
Mr Mogg said it was a "special day” to be able to help give Stevie "a life experience like he's never had before.”
He said the Golden Orange was in "uncharted waters” when they kicked off the initiative.
"We really didn't know what would happen,” Mr Mogg said.
But, so successful have the Sunday afternoon meat tray raffles been, the Golden Orange will now select a new charity each month to direct the proceeds to.
"Let's do something really good for the community,” operations manager Kylie Schweikert said.
She urged anyone in the community with a worthy cause to get in contact to discuss how the pub may be able to help them.