Write a song for Alana
A SONG penned by a Bundaberg musician will be the first thing little Alana Reid hears after she receives expensive life-changing surgery to help her hear.
This past week, local residents have worn pink to help raise money for Hear4Alana, a charity raising money towards the $97,000 it will cost to give the deaf toddler the gift of hearing.
The four-year-old suffers from the congenital condition microtia - meaning small or absent ear - and requires surgery only offered overseas to widen her ear canal and reconstruct her middle ear.
Her fight has tugged on the heartstrings of local musicians, who are now strumming away on verandas and in garages to write a song that helps tell her story.
Bundaberg's music community has now been challenged to get people tapping their feet, clapping and humming along as part of the Song4Alana competition.
The spoils of the victor will include free recording and studio time for a professional recording of the winning track, electrical goods from Hervey Norman and airplay on local airwaves with Hitz FM.
But according to Craig Walsh, editor of local gig guide Bundaberg Live, it's the rare distinction of producing the first sounds Alana will hear after surgery that has resonated most with local musicians.
"People are genuinely touched by her story and want to help out," he said.
"This is going to attract a real following - there's a lot of musicians really looking forward to this."
As well as hearing problems, Alana suffers from an atrial ceptal defect in her heart, kidney reflux and an absent thyroid gland.
Hear4Alana co-ordinator and Alana's mum, Emma Reid, said her family was determined to give her the gift of hearing before she started school.
"We don't want her to be struggling with hearing when she starts Prep," she said.
"This is something we really want to fight for and we're grateful for all the community's help so far."
The top five entries will be uploaded to the websites and Facebook pages of the News
Mail, Hitz FM and the Hear4Alana charity. The public will then be asked to vote for their favourite.
Keep an eye out for advertisements in the NewsMail in the coming days for details on how to enter your songs.