Generosity sparks fireworks in the air
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.
COLOURFUL: The Whitsunday Reef Festival’s Rotary Street Parade is always a popular event.