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Carey Park Football Club suffers ‘sizeable’ financial loss after GTM cancellation strips fundraising potential

Headshot of Sean Van Der Wielen
Sean Van Der WielenSouth Western Times
Carey Park president Wayne Stewart monitoring the temporary GTM camp site at Kelly Park.
Camera IconCarey Park president Wayne Stewart monitoring the temporary GTM camp site at Kelly Park. Credit: RegionalHUB

The Carey Park Football Club has suffered a “sizeable” financial loss of fundraising potential after one of its biggest fundraisers was forced to be scrapped.

Traditionally each May, the Panthers’ home ground Kelly Park is transformed into a campsite during the Groovin’ The Moo festival, serving as a base for hundreds of revellers who travel from outside the region to Bunbury for the music extravaganza.

But with the festival suddenly cancelled earlier this month citing low ticket sales, the club will now have to find other ways to raise the funds to improve infrastructure at the site.

President Wayne Stewart said he was “obviously disappointed” by the scenario.

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However, while it had been a major club fundraiser, he said they had not enjoyed the financial benefits of it for three out of the past five years due to COVID-19 cancellations.

“We were well into our planning and application process for this year’s GTM festival camping, however, no deposits for services have been paid (and) therefore we will not be out of pocket,” Mr Stewart said.

“While cancellation of the festival results in a sizeable financial loss of fundraising potential, we do not rely on these funds for the general operation of the club.”

Camping numbers at Kelly Park were down last year compared to pre-COVID levels, with profits made from previous years generally being reinvested into club facilities and infrastructure.

Mr Stewart said the club appreciated the opportunity given to them by the Bunbury City Council to host camping at its home ground and said he hopes there may be similar opportunities in the future.

“The Carey Park Football Sporting and Community Club will carry on finding alternate ways to fundraise in the future and we will always greatly appreciate our valued sponsors, members and supporters, which are the backbone of the club,” he said.

One project the Panthers are seeking funding for is upgraded field lighting for the oval, with the organisation needing to find $70,000 to pay for its one-third contribution.

To donate, visit careyparkfc.com.au

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