Gen­eros­ity sparks fire­works in the air

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS -

WHEN Craig Tat­nell heard the Whit­sun­day Reef Fes­ti­val was strug­gling to re­ceive funds due to Cy­clone Deb­bie, he wanted to do his bit to help.

That’s why this year Mr Tat­nell and his team at Above Ground Zero Fire­works of­fered to run the fes­ti­val’s fire­works free of charge.

“With (Cy­clone) Deb­bie com­ing through, (fes­ti­val chair­woman) Margie (Mur­phy) was strug­gling to get spon­sors, and we saw a lot of busi­nesses close so we thought it’d be hard,” he said.

Mr Tat­nell runs the busi­ness with his daugh­ters, and hav­ing run the fes­ti­val’s fire­works for nearly 10 years, he said he was no stranger to the fes­tiv­i­ties.

“We thought we’d give some­thing back be­cause we’ve done it for a while,” he said.

Fes­ti­val chair­woman Margie Mur­phy said she was grate­ful and emo­tional when Mr Tat­nell came for­ward.

“It was a month af­ter the cy­clone when I was con­sid­er­ing whether or not we could even run the fes­ti­val,” she said.

“(Mr Tat­nell) rang me and he said he was go­ing to do the fire­works for free.”

“His early sup­port and in­ter­ac­tion are what gave us the con­fi­dence to go ahead.

“He’s been very sup­port­ive over the years.”

Mr Tat­nell said Ms Mur­phy and the fes­ti­val com­mit­tee de­served a “pat on the back” for their work.

“It’s never a chore go­ing to Airlie Beach and do­ing the fire­works,” he said.

PHOTO: DEB­BIE SAVY/TROPIX

COLOUR­FUL: The Whit­sun­day Reef Fes­ti­val’s Ro­tary Street Pa­rade is al­ways a pop­u­lar event.

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