More than $15,000 raised by benefit concert at Brolga
THE colourful lights of Maryborough's Brolga Theatre seemed to shine brighter than ever before when 542 people gathered for a benefit concert.
The fact those people had reached into their pockets to pay a $20 entry price - which meant a total of $10,840 was raised through ticket sales alone for disaster victims - had something to do with it.
The lights also shone brighter because almost 200 performers chose to donate their time to ensure Shelter from the Storm was a success, providing a spectacle as rich in feeling as it was in entertainment value.
The important statistic: $15,730 was raised for people suffering after the Oswald weather event.
But it was never about statistics.
Fraser Coast Cr Stuart Taylor echoed perfectly the sentiments of the community in recognising it would be the display of support more than the finance those suffering would remember.
"I think the financial assistance is exceptional and it will go a long way to helping," Cr Taylor said.
"But for me it was the display of emotional support of these people coming together to recognise the tragedy which was particularly touching."
Fraser Coast Mayor Gerard O'Connell said the disaster had galvanised the community, claiming it was perhaps the first time since amalgamation in 2008 that the region had acted as one.
"I reckon this (disaster) event, in a cruel irony, will be a defining moment for our region," Cr O'Connell said.
"No more are we concerned with previous local government boundaries of our region, we're all Fraser Coasters, and out of this natural disaster we as a region will grow stronger."
The Hervey Bay Sunrise Rotary, the Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre, the Fraser Coast Regional Council and the Fraser Coast Chronicle helped organise and support the event.