Four young Mount Isa women are well on their way to raising thousands of dollars for their local community charities as this year’s entrants in the Isa Rodeo Queen Quest.
The quest is an annual competition to raise funds for local charities and discover ambassadors for the Isa Rodeo.
Isa Rodeo Manager Ms Natalie Flecker paid tribute to the 2017 entrants – Caitlynd Gardner, representing BUSHKids; Alison Gibbs (Ronald McDonald House North Queensland); Maureen Miller (The Laura Johnson Home); and Samantha Eaton (Estelle Cardiff Community Kindergarten).
She said the entrants were hard at work fundraising in the final weeks leading up to rodeo’s night of nights, the Bell & Moir Toyota Rodeo Ball where the Rodeo Queen and Charity Queen will be crowned on Saturday, August 5.
“The entrants this year have been working very hard to raise much needed funds and awareness for their charities,” said Ms Flecker. “They have been busy with a whole range of fundraising activities – from a silly sock day to high teas and raffles to name a few.
“This year we have a new charity onboard which hasn’t been involved with the Queen Quest, the Estelle Cardiff Community Kindergarten, as well as welcoming back BUSHKids which last participated in 2012.”
Entrant Caitlynd Gardner, 21, was born in Adelaide and moved to Mount Isa when she was nine years old. An auto electrician working underground at Mount Isa Mines, she recently completed her apprenticeship and is now a qualified tradesperson.
Caitlynd said she entered the Queen Quest because it was always something she has wanted to do and to represent Mount Isa in a positive way.
“I chose BUSHKids because when I was in primary school I dealt with a similar organisation,” she said. “They don’t get enough recognition for the great work that they do.”
Entrant Samantha Eaton, 34, said she entered the Queen Quest to raise some funds for Estelle Cardiff Community Kindergarten, where she works as an educator.
Samantha grew up on a property about 30 minutes from Rockhampton, where she was born. “I moved to Mount Isa after university hoping to find a job in the mines but instead, I actually found my passion working with children at Estelle Cardiff kindy,” she said.
“I am always busy with my partner and four boys so in my spare time I love to chill out with them. My children are that little bit older so I want to get out into our wonderful community, do more and give back. I’ve been here 12 years and love this town.”
Samantha said the Estelle Cardiff Community Kindergarten was Mount Isa’s oldest kindergarten, originally on Minesite and open for more than 60 years.
The third entrant, 20-year-old Alison Gibbs was born and bred in Mount Isa. Alison, who works Bella Duck gift store, said she entered the Queen Quest because she had always wanted to do more fundraising.
“I thought starting local is the perfect idea,” she said. “I chose the Ronald McDonald House North Queensland as it is a charity I have had a family connection with and it’s touched my heart in more ways than one.”
Twenty-eight year old entrant Maureen Miller (better known as Moz), was born and raised on the Darling Downs and works as a beauty therapist for Natural Beauty & Medi Clinic.
“I’ve entered this year’s Mount Isa Rotary Rodeo Queen Quest to gain further life experience in a new, challenging and exciting journey, with purpose,” she said. “Having been raised on the land and around horses, I have always admired the beautiful flag bearing girls at the rodeos and have had my own aspirations of doing the same as them. I am so proud to be a part of the biggest rodeo in the southern hemisphere.”
Moz said she chose the Laura Johnson Home as her charity as it was very important to support our senior citizens from all over the North West District.
Ms Flecker also acknowledged Worn Out West for their support by providing clothing for the entrants. “We are very grateful for the ongoing support of all our sponsors, and Bell & Moir Toyota have been long time sponsors of the Rodeo Ball where the Queens are crowned,” she said.
Last year’s three entrants in the Isa Rodeo Queen Quest collectively raised more than $70,000 for local charities.
Mount Isa’s three days of rodeo competition, including bull riding, saddle bronc and bareback, steer wrestling, roping, ladies barrel racing and breakaway roping kicks off on Friday, August 11.
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