The Fraser Coast community is set to get colourful for a cause close to the hearts of many locals on June 2 when they gather for the third annual Colour Stampede.
In 2017 Hervey Bay locals Olivia Hay and Thomas Biden decided to throw some colour on the global orphanage crisis and engage the Fraser Coast community to support families in Nepal. The pair brought to life their idea of a Colour Stampede to raise awareness that more than eighty percent of children in orphanages have at least one living parent aching for their children to be returned home, where they belong.
“We are proud to be fighting the global orphanage crisis because research tells us children do much better when raised in loving families instead of institutions like orphanages and children’s homes, no matter how well run they are.
“What’s worse is the fact that most kids in orphanages are not actually orphans! They’re forced to live this way because traffickers have taken advantage of their family’s poverty and want the very best for their children. Parents will do almost anything for their children to live their best lives no matter where in the world they live, and these parents are no different.
“Yet these families are often tricked into sending their children away for an education that is meant to be their ticket to a brighter future. The parents have no idea that their children are actually going to be branded ‘orphans’, told their families don’t want them, and forced to live a lie.
“I’ve met some of these kids and they’ve told me that it was expected for them to look impoverished and needy in order to get sympathy and donations from volunteers and tourists who visit with open hearts and deep pockets,” Olivia said.
“It’s a crazy world but we have seen first-hand the difference this volunteer-run community fundraiser makes to the lives of children in Nepal through the work of Forget Me Not. It’s a game changer for these families and Liv and I believe every child deserves a family, our own families are so important to us.”
“We have lots of things planned for this year’s Colour Stampede to make it bigger and better than ever! Food and drinks will be available, we have great entertainment lined up, Optus have donated a couple of phones for auction, and the major raffle prize is a weekend away at Kingfisher Bay Resort,” Thomas added.
Hervey Bay business leaders are also backing the event. Linda Bland said, “Century 21 Commercial are thrilled to sponsor the Colour Stampede again and support the fantastic work that Forget Me Not does in keeping children with their families and providing families and communities with the support they need.”
Forget Me Not CEO Andrea Nave said, “I am privileged to have been a part of the Forget Me Not story from the early days when a small group of Hervey Bay locals decided there was something, they could do together to make the world a better place.
“It’s been a magnificent journey and this event is an excellent example of how change can be powerful, life-changing and fun! I’m so proud of Olivia and Thomas and their journey from observers to participants to leaders and agents of change. The future’s in good hands!
“I’m looking forward to happy faces and lots of laughs along the colourful 2.5-kilometre fun run through beautiful Susan River bushland – everybody is welcome,”
The third annual Colour Stampede is suitable for all ages and abilities and will be held at Susan River Homestead Adventure Resort, on Sunday June 2, from 10am with all proceeds donated to Forget Me Not. Learn more about the work Forget Me Not does at www.fmn.org.au.
Readers can use a ‘What’s On Fraser Coast’ discount code for $5 OFF every ticket at checkout!
Take advantage of the special offer by using the code ‘WOFC’!
Tickets available here: www.stampede.org.au