Rotary Noosa Bookfest supporting local charities

Zuri - profoundly deaf in both ears but with the help of the Hear and Say centre Nmbour, Zuri is a happy, healthy, normal little girl.

The annual Rotary Noosa Bookfest is back and this year profits will support two very worthwhile Sunshine Coast charities, the Hear and Say Centre and Cooloola-Noosa Life Education Association. As in previous years there will be thousands of books to browse and buy, so we encourage anyone to drop in to enjoy the atmosphere of the biggest book sale on the Coast.

Zuri - profoundly deaf in both ears but with the help of the Hear and Say centre Nmbour, Zuri is a happy, healthy, normal little girl.
Zuri – profoundly deaf in both ears but with the help of the Hear and Say centre Nmbour, Zuri is a happy, healthy, normal little girl.

This is Zuri. Zuri is just like any other four-year-old girl, except for one thing: she is profoundly deaf in both ears.
She has been going to the Hear and Say Centre in Nambour since she was eight months old and she now wears cochlear implants. With the help of the Hear and Say centre, Zuri is a happy, healthy, normal little girl.
This year, from May 3-5, anyone can help kids like Zuri by picking up one of thousands of books on sale at the annual Bookfest Noosa co-ordinated by the local Rotary Club of Noosa Heads Daybreak.
President, Ian McDonald, says the organisation is delighted to once again be supporting such worthy local causes and members are already working long hours to sort the thousands of donated books that will be on sale on the day.
“Bookfest Noosa is the largest event of its kind in the region and we attract everyone from book collectors to social readers from as far afield as the Gold Coast and Bundaberg,” Mr McDonald said.
“We have such a fantastic range of books including fiction, non-fiction and children’s books, so people can stock up on great reads to last them through the winter months for only a few dollars.  What we’re really proud of is that every dollar raised goes directly to one of our chosen charities.”
Hear and Say Centre Regional Development and Fundraising Coordinator Karen Von Homeyer said the proceeds are vital to help keep the centre going.
“We receive some Government funding but only enough to allow us to keep the doors open for 15 weeks of the year,” Mrs Von Homeyer said.
“It costs $10,000 per child to attend the centre per year, and each child stays for around five years. Any money raised on the Sunshine Coast through the community goes directly to helping local children like Zuri attend school and more fully integrate into the hearing community.”
More than $4 million must be raised this year across the state through community and corporate support so that other children like Zuri are able to attend a local school.”
The Bookfest also supports the Cooloola-Noosa Life Education Association, a group that teaches children how to make choices for a healthier and happier life, as well as other Rotary projects.
Cooloola-Noosa Life Education Association volunteer Trish Radge said the funds raised at the Bookfest will go towards fitting out a new mobile classroom.
“Last year, we visited 20 schools and six kindergartens on the Sunshine Coast with our mobile classroom and talked with 6,500 children,” Ms Radge said.
“The classrooms have big touch screens, puppets and an interactive body who lights up in different areas when talking about different parts of the body.
“It’s a very exciting atmosphere for the kids.”
Noosa Rotary club’s Robyn Opperman said the festival, which has been running for 12 years, is not only for bookworms.
“There will be BBQ and drinks stalls, raffle prizes and a bigger-than-ever interactive Children’s Corner. Harold the Giraffe from Life Ed will be visiting and entertaining the kids,” Ms Opperman said.
“Given the number of books we have, there’s something to suit every kind of reader so we encourage people to come along and support a great cause.”
The festivities take place daily between 9am-5pm from Friday, May 3 to Sunday, May 5 at the Bicentennial Hall at Sunshine Beach (off Sunshine Beach Road). 
For further information please contact the Rotary Bookfest Noosa hotline on 1300 791 226 or visit www.noosaheadsdaybreakrotary.org.