A WHOPPING $29,910 has been raised via a silent auction to raise funds for the Meg Purser’s Pathways Program to benefit local female surfers.
Meg’s Program was established to honour the legacy of Meg Purser, who died in January 2021 after an 18-month battle with breast cancer. She was 53.
Meg, and her company Purser Corporate Communication, provided tireless assistance to charitable and behind-the-scenes work for organisations including the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service, Got Your Back Sister and Hunter Breast Screen.
But it was her contribution to a globally unique crowdfunding initiative backed by the local business community for the past six years – to ensure a women’s professional surfing contest would be held as a World Surf League QS5000 event – that has seen the Pathways Program emerge to assist Hunter-based female athletes
And the crowdfunding ingenuity has done more than raise funds essential to ensuring a QS5000 event – it has established a community of volunteers, business owners and passionate Novocastrians who want to ensure a solid future for women’s surfing in Newcastle.
The Program will help provide financial support, on an annual basis, to Hunter-based female surfers who have aspirations and the potential to mix it with the best on the World Surf League tour.
Surfers who are offered the chance to participate will have their World Surf League event fees covered along with a substantial contribution towards their travel costs. This will help remove much of the financial burden these athletes face, allowing them to concentrate on their achievements in the water.
The auction was held at a cocktail party for the 2022 crowd funders. The $29,910 is exclusively targeted to assist the funding of athletes for at least the next two years.
The funds could not have been raised without the generous support of donors to the auction:
Novotel, Newcastle Beach
Jodie Harrison MP Member for Charlestown
Coco Skin, Laser, Health
Peter Drayton Wines
Feathers Hair Salon
Baartz and Co
The support of local businesses and the community was overwhelming and has provided an amazing foundation for the future of the Pathways Program.
Organisers look forward to seeing the achievements of local female surfers at the 2022 QS5000 AAP Consulting Women’s Pro and will announce the first recipient(s) of the Meg Purser’s Pathways Program in the coming months.
Pic: Meg Purser and her team with 1991-92 Women’s World Surf Champion, Wendy Botha by Greg Meyer