In just four days, the crew of M/Y Elixir raised AU$5,366.41 for Australia bushfire relief aid through online donations via a link that was emailed on January 20 and their sausage sizzle fundraiser in Antigua on January 23.
With the Elixir crew being heavily Australian and Kiwi, the impact of the devastation was felt boat wide, says Chief Stewardess Samantha Klepper. Stewardess Peta Harding, who is from New South Wales, spearheaded the humanitarian event because it was a cause near and dear to her heart with the bushfires directly affecting her loved ones back home.
“The event was organized last minute without a lot of preparation, but it was such a team effort that it came together beautifully! The support from the boats in Antigua was overwhelming,” Klepper says. “M/Y Symphony was our biggest donor by far, but yachties from all three marinas came to the fundraiser to help us exceed our $5,000 goal!”
Hosting a sausage sizzle was a natural fit as the community barbecues are popular throughout the different regions of Australia. And to dress the part, they donned outfits that all had some sort of Steve Irwin-esque look, and they couldn’t have a fundraiser for wildfires without having one of their fire team present, represented by Australian Deckhand Tom Rosengreen.
Australian Chef Tim Roszak’s homemade goodies for the event raised AU$1,898.41 in cash. The treats included lamington cakes, ANZAC biscuits, and sausage sandwiches, which all have long been associated with Australian traditions.
All the cash donations went to WIRES Australian Wildlife Rescue and online donations can still be made to the Australian Red Cross: https://fundraise.redcross.org.au/fundraisers/MotorYachtELIXIR/fundraise-for-disaster-relief-and-recovery
“As a crew, we have decided to hopefully raise funds for a local charity or good cause once per season, depending on where we begin and end. The outpouring of support from the yachting community really shed light on how much people are willing to help if awareness is raised and guidance is given,” Klepper says. “As superyacht crew, it is important that we remember what a privileged life we live. We want to be known as an industry of eco-friendly, globally conscious and charitable citizens of the world! Every little bit helps!”
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