Disco to raise money for Sunshine bus

Mullumbimby High School is pulling out all the stops – not to mention a bunch of afros, flares and sequins – for a disco extravaganza to raise money for a Special Education Unit coaster bus.

Held from 7-11pm on Saturday, June 18, in the school’s auditorium, the licensed event (18 years and over) will feature the soulful sounds of Lisa Hunt, the MC skills of ABC television journalist Kerry O’Brien, and thousands of dollars worth of prizes.

With the first $35,000 already pledged by Variety Club NSW, proceeds from the fundraiser will go towards the additional $70,000 needed to secure a Sunshine Coach desperately needed in the Brunswick Valley.

"I know it’s a massive task for a small community group but I am hoping we can pull together to meet our goal by the end of 2011 – or sooner!" head teacher Mark Smith said.

"Transport options in our community are very limited, particularly for people with special needs, and a lot of learning opportunities go untapped because of this."

Established a decade ago, Mullumbimby High School Special Education Unit supports over 40 students with various disabilities or mental health diagnosis.

"Our students come from all over Byron Shire and beyond, as we are the only high school (public or private) offering this essential community service," Mark said.

"This resource will allow students to not only travel comfortably within Byron Shire but also to travel to Brisbane and other places for extra curricular activities."

While the 22-seater coaster bus is primarily for Mullumbimby High, surrounding community organisations supporting people with disabilities also benefit from access to the % coach.

"This is a social inclusion issue for the most vulnerable people living in our community," Mark said.

"With virtually no public transport and poor access to independent private transport, people with disabilities will have greater access to the numerous recreational, vocational and general well-being opportunities that exist in their community."

The fundraiser will feature games, lucky door prizes and raffles throughout the night, and a best-dressed disco king and queen competition, Mark said.

At intermission there will be an auction of donated works from local artists including John Dahlsen, Reg Gregor and Mandy Nolan, while artisans including jeweller John Murphy and many other generous donor businesses have chipped in.

Pre-sale tickets cost $25 each, or $225 for a book of 10, and will also be available on the night for $30.

You can purchase them from the school’s office, Planet Corroboree Byron Bay; North Coast Trophies Brunswick Heads and Ocean Shores Public School.

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