Couple raise funds for charity with 50s style
THE death of Tracey O'Keefe's parents to heart disease is the driving force behind Bundaberg's newest festival.
The Heart and Soul Festival is set down for Sunday, February 18 at the Bundaberg Recreational Precinct and is all about 50s-inspired fun while raising money for the Heart Foundation.
Ms O'Keefe and her partner Dan Owttrim have been working around the clock to bring the rockabilly themed festival and the Big Rock Project to the Rum City.
Entry to the festival will be by gold coin donation, with all the funds going to the Heart Foundation.
"Both my parents died from heart disease,” Ms O'Keefe said.
Her father Paddy died aged 52 and her mother Desda at 65.
And although Ms O'Keefe looks a picture of health she too is at risk of heart disease.
"As it stands I have high cholesterol, despite being physically fit,” Ms O'Keefe said.
"I am passionate about heart disease, what it is and the risk factors.”
The couple's love of rock-and-roll music, pin-up girls and hot rods has inspired their fundraising initiative.
"I just want to do what I love and raise awareness at the same time,” she said.
She said visitors to the festival would be treated to a pin-up girl competition, hot rods, live music, trade stalls and food vans.
The couple has pin-up girls dressed in circle skirts and wiggle dresses coming from around the state and are hoping for hundreds of hot rods to make the journey to Bundaberg too.
Live music will play all day with Buzz Talay already locked in with two bands.
The big finale will be the Big Rock Project where three iconic aussie rock songs will be performed by a monster band (see breakout story).
The couple has enlisted the support of a number of sponsors. Shannons, Auswide Bank, APIA and the Bundaberg Regional Council have covered all costs so all money raised will go straight to the Heart Foundation.
"We have no specific target in mind,” Ms O'Keefe said.
"As long as we can hand out a big novelty cheque at the end of the day.”