Run­ning fes­ti­val help­ing to save lives of turtles

Whitsunday Times - - COMMUNITY NEWS -

ON THURS­DAY Whit­sun­day Run­ning Club rep­re­sen­ta­tives on be­half of the Air­lie Beach Run­ning Fes­ti­val handed over a $2410 do­na­tion to Eco Barge.

The money was raised through the fes­ti­val, or­gan­ised by the Whit­sun­day Run­ning Club and held last month.

Eco Barge was the Air­lie Beach Run­ning Fes­ti­val’s char­ity of choice.

Whit­sun­day Run­ning Club pres­i­dent Mark McCon­key said it was im­por­tant that a lo­cal or­gan­i­sa­tion re­cieved the do­na­tion from a home-based event.

“More or less, the whole idea of the run­ning fes­ti­val is to: A - get peo­ple up and run­ning and in­volved in the com­mu­nity and B - to high­light Air­lie Beach, Whit­sun­days and the Great Bar­rier Reef for what it is,” he said.

Air­lie Beach Run­ning Fes­ti­val event manger Wendy Downes was ex­cited to see what Eco Barge would do with the do­na­tion.

“It keeps our seal­ife alive and it keeps the seas clean – it’s so im­por­tant to give back to na­ture when you live in such a beau­ti­ful place,” she said. Eco Barge founder Libby Edge said the money will go di­rectly to the Whit­sun­day Tur­tle Cen­tre which cur­rently has three turtles in care.

Part of the money will also aid their reg­u­lar clean­ing up de­bris du­ties on the Whit­sun­day is­lands.

Ms Edge said she was thrilled to be nom­i­nated as char­ity of choice.

“The amount of en­tries they had was mind­blow­ing so to be no­mi­ated as the chairty of choice is a bless­ing and will en­sure Eco Barge will di­rectly look af­ter the ma­rine en­vi­ron­ment,” she said. Eco Barge Clean Seas cur­rently has 430 lo­cal vol­un­teers to date.

The Air­lie Beach Run­ning Fes­ti­val in­cluded the ever-pop­u­lar half marathon plus the Port of Air­lie 10km, Bal­ance Po­di­a­try 5km, and the 5km cor­po­rate team chal­lenge. In the cor­po­rate team 5km chal­lenge Eco Barge vol­un­teers Jonathon Dykyj and Emma ‘Tur­tle girl’ Fer­gu­son were the first male and fe­male to cross the line.

GEN­ER­OUS DO­NA­TION: Air­lie Beach Run­ning Fes­ti­val event man­ager Wendy Downes and Whit­sun­day Run­ning Club pres­i­dent Mark McCon­key handed over a $2410 do­na­tion to their char­ity of choice, Eco Barge Clean Seas. Eco Barge founder Libby Edge was thrilled to ac­cept the do­na­tion and plaque.

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