Region opens wallets to help disaster victims

By KELLI DOWNEYkelli@gladstoneobserver.com.au

GLADSTONE region residents have opened their hearts and wal- lets to help victims of the Asian tsunami disaster.

To date $17,500 has been raised locally to assist those devastated by the tragedy which struck Box- ing Day.

An appeal was launched by The Observer on Saturday, asking readers to play a key role in help- ing victims who survived the nat- ural disaster, which looks set to claim a death toll of about 150,000.

Telephone lines were manned in Rockhampton at the weekend, recording donations pledged by local residents.

And those who could give, did, with $5000 donated by Gladstone region residents, adding to $7500 by Central Queensland Ports Au- thority and the pledging of $5000 on behalf of Gladstone City Council.

Appeal volunteer Angela Duffy said many private residents had generously donated whatever they could afford, realising the money was going to a worthy cause. Ms Duffy said one kind Glad- stone man, who did not wish to be named, donated $1000. She said a local female pension- er had also pledged her entire pen- sion payment of $250 to the appeal.

"We have had various amounts pledged from residents ranging from generally $50 to $200,'' Ms Duffy said.

The Observer is one of 14 daily and 60 country and community newspapers throughout Queens- land and northern NSW which have joined forces with the aim to raise $1 million.

All titles are part of the APN News and Media group, which has pledged $100,000 to launch a trans- Tasman APN Tsunami Relief Appeal.

To date $199,935 has been raised with all funds to directly assist tsunami victims in Sri Lanka.

Donations can be made today from 10am to 3pm by phoning 13 6181.

All donations are tax de- ductible.



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