by Mary Bickley
Supported by many of Australia’s best known sailors, the Bear Cottage children’s hospice is raffling the world’s kindest yacht as part of its annual fund-raising campaign.
Bear Cottage needs $2.5 million every year to provide care and support for terminally-ill children and their families.
The winner of the Hanse 355 yacht, valued at $220,000 will be announced at the Sydney International Boatshow on July 31 by Hanse’s national importer Team Windcraft.
A portion of the proceeds from the '355 for Bear Cottage' raffle will help ensure Bear Cottage raises enough money to assist families coping with the impossible – caring for a child with a terminal illness.
Jessica Watson, who skippered Ella’s Pink Lady into Sydney Harbour in May last year to become the world’s youngest person to sail solo, non top and unassisted round the world, is one of many notable sailors and celebrities to support the campaign.
Named Young Australian of the Year 2011, Jessica will take the winner of the Hanse yacht for 2 hours sailing on Pittwater, north of Sydney.
Others prominent supporters of the fund-raising campaign include America’s Cup yachtsman, Iain Murray, Sydney businessman/sailor, Marcus Blackmore, Michael Coxon, MD of Norths Sails Australia and internationally respected tactician/helmsman.
'Bear Cottage must be supported and nurtured. Bass Straight at its worst is less formidable than the tough hurdles faced by these families, 'said Iain Murray.
Marcus Blackmore also said the raffle is a worthy cause deserving of wide support.
'There are very few places in Australia that have such amazing facilities and wonderful staff to support so many children and families who are going through such a heartbreaking and challenging time,' Mr Blackmore said.
'Last year I was fortunate enough to have an opportunity to sail on the Maxi Yacht LOYAL whose principle goal is to raise money for children’s charity. Meeting the great sporting and media celebrities associated with this worthy cause opened my eyes to the need for all fortunate enough to be able to help needy children through worthwhile cause’s such as Bear Cottage.'
An initiative of the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Bear Cottage needs $2.5 million every year to provide care and support for terminally-ill children and their families. Located near Manly Beach in Sydney, Bear Cottage is one of only two children’s hospices in Australia and the only one in NSW. For more information go to http://www.bearcottage.chw.edu.au/
Tickets for the Bear Away raffle, which is being organised by Team Windcraft, are $100 each with a limit of 5,000. Full details of the '355 for Bear Cottage' campaign and how to purchase tickets can be found at www.355forbearcottage.com
For more information about the raffle, please contact Mary Bickley at Windcraft 02 9979 1709