Charity's golden star
THE Bundaberg Make-A-Wish Foundation branch has been delivered a "glowing report card" with a "golden star" by its national office, amid rumours the charity organisation is suffering financial hardship.
Recent media reports suggested the national organisation - which grants wishes to children aged three to 18 with life-threatening illnesses - had tightened the purse strings after suffering a $3.4 million net loss in 2010, compared to a $249,000 net surplus in 2009.
Bundaberg president Pat Russell said the branch was concerned when the foundation's national manager of volunteer services, Joe Capozza, arrived in the city to hold a meeting on Wednesday.
But Mrs Russell said their fears were immediately quashed when they received nothing but praise.
"They classed Bundaberg as the model branch in Australia," she said.
"They confirmed that we are the highest fundraising branch in Queensland and the ninth overall in Australia."
And the good news kept on coming, with the group told it had the best media coverage of wishes and events of anywhere else in Australia.
"We have the largest number of volunteers in Queensland, which is 28," she said.
Mrs Russell said the group was told there would be changes made nationally in the future but, for the moment, it was very much business as usual.
"There is a hold on wish applications just for a very short time, but it isn't going to be for very long," she said.
"The Bundaberg branch is very grateful to everyone in the community who continue to support us."
Mr Capozza told the NewsMail there would be no changes to the volunteer-run branches.
"We're really happy with Bundaberg - we can't praise them enough," he said.
To donate to the Bundy branch, call Mrs Russell on 4152 3196.
- Raised $95,000 in 2011.
- 89% of funds go directly to granting wishes.
- 92 wishes have been granted in Bundaberg.