Please help tsunami victims
WITH millions of people suffering in Asia following the tsunami disaster it's time for the people of the Gladstone region to make a difference.
The Observer today launches a major appeal in which readers can play a key role in helping the victims of the Asian tsunami disaster.
The Observer is one of 14 daily and 60 country and community newspapers throughout Queensland and northern NSW which have joined forces with the aim to raise $1 million over the next few days.
All titles are part of the APN News & Media group, which today pledged $100,000 to launch a trans-Tasman APN Tsunami Relief Appeal. The appeal has already received some much needed local support with the Gladstone City Council pledging $5000 and the Central Queensland Ports Authority pledging $7,500.
The extent of the tragedy was felt in Gladstone when local mother Sunee O'Brien learnt that at least 10 members of her family, including her mother, had been killed by the tsunami. Gladstone mayor Peter Corones said now was the time to help.
"I don't think I can ever remember devastation of this proportion,'' Cr Corones said.
"It's of such global proportions but it has even touched one of our families in a most tragic way.'
"At times people feel helpless but this is an opportunity to do something significant.''
APN Regional Newspapers Division chief executive officer Martin Simons called on readers to support families devastated by the tragedy.
AS the tsunami death toll nears 120,000, authorities are battling outbreaks of disease which they fear could lead to thousands more deaths.
The Observer is asking its loyal and generous readers to band together in an effort to ease the suffering that this awesome natural disaster has foisted upon the people of the south-east Asian region and to support the tsunami victims.
"I know it sounds like a huge ask but desperate families need as much as we can give,'' Mr Simons said.
"Together we can give so much more.''
Funds raised by the APN Tsunami Relief Appeal in Australia will directly assist tsunami victims in Sri Lanka, where 22,500 people have died and almost 10 per cent of the nation's population are homeless.
Readers are asked to ring 136 181 between 10am and 3pm today, tomorrow and Monday to pledge their support. All donations are tax deductible.