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The APEX Copper Coast Retreat
The Apex Copper Coast Retreat is our latest addition to the Apex Underprivileged Children’s Trust and now proudly sits side by side with the Apex Chalet (The Magic Castle) and the Shoalhaven Heads Apex Cottages for Kids (S.H.A.C.K.).
The mission of Apex Copper Coast Retreat is to reduce the impact of cancer on South Australian families by providing an opportunity to relax while enjoying positive experiences and building precious new memories.
The Apex Copper Coast Retreat operates three units located on leased land in the Wallaroo, North Beach Tourist Park providing free seven day holiday accommodation for South Australian families experiencing the stress and demands which come with a cancer diagnosis.
It has been a long journey …
It all started with a challenge put out at the Ballarat 2007 Apex National Convention, by the then Apex Foundation Chairman Tony Peters, to the Apex Clubs in the room and the concept of a large project resonated with a group of South Australians and the spark of an idea was lit.
The idea was to construct a respite centre for the underprivileged Australians, something on the lines of the Apex Magic Castle and the SHACK.
The long journey to making of Apex Copper Coast Retreat had just started.
APEX Outback Postie Bike Ride
Coincidently, in September 2007, Port Augusta Apex Club Life Member Greg Kipling launched what would become the first in the series of Apex Outback Postie Bike Rides.
The concept was to ride Honda CT 110 “Postie Bikes” where they should not be ridden, for 1053 km over 4 days on predominantly private dirt tracks through the beautiful and picturesque Flinders Rangers covering some of the harshest terrain South Australia has to offer.
By 2010 having raised $132,000 in four years which was donated to the Childhood Cancer Association, the organising committee identified the long term incredible fundraising potential for the event.
The Apex Outback Postie Bike Ride was rapidly expanding with continued popularity and it was conservatively estimated there was potential to raise in excess of $300,000 over the next five years.
With this in mind the committee wanted to guarantee a lasting Apex legacy, which was created by ensuring the funds were used for a tangible purpose that Apexians could be proud of long into the future, while continuing to assist reducing the impact of cancer on South Australian families.
This followed with the then Governor of Apex Yorke and Upper North District , Neil Sawley exploring the idea of making a respite centre. It was assessed that there was a need in South Australia for a project of this type and negotiations soon followed with the District Council of the Copper Coast offering leased land in the Wallaroo North Beach Tourist Park.
A partnership with Cancer Council SA was formed. The Apex Foundation gladly agreed to provide the support required.
The concept of the Apex Copper Coast Retreats was born, to purchase/build and operate four units located on the leased land in the Wallaroo, North Beach Tourist Park providing free seven day holiday accommodation for South Australian families experiencing the stress and demands which come with a cancer diagnosis, who would be referred by Cancer Council SA.
Founding Project Committee was from the Apex Clubs of Yorke, Upper North & Eye District, comprising the Apex Clubs of Clare, Crystal Brook, Jamestown, Kadina, Kimba, Maitland, Port August, and Whyalla, controlled by a combined committee of past and present Apexians consisting of Dale Sawley (Chairperson), Neil Sawley, David Forrest, Keith Rowley, Justin Voumard, Chris Benton, Chris Hill, Adam May, David Venning, Debbie Venning, Chris Rowe and Aaron Huxtable.
The Copper Coast Retreat on Wallaroo North Beach Tourist Park is located on the beach front at Wallaroo South Australia on Crown land. The Park is owned by the District Council of the Copper Coast, and operated by contracted Managers. Wallaroo is a popular tourist and recreation area located 157 km from Adelaide, which is an easy two hour drive and is central in the state to other rural areas. North Beach is an ideal safe beach for families, with gentle waves and is a vast sandy stretch which can be driven on.
The primary fundraising source for the project has been the Apex Outback Postie Bike Ride, having raised in excess of $400,000 on the 2011 to 2014 rides, an amazing effort from a committee. The Kadina Kids v Cancer charity golf day donated $18,000 and Apex Australia contributed $10,000.
The District Council of Copper Coast in 2013 offered to sell an existing two year old, two bedroom fully furnished unit located in the Wallaroo North Beach Tourist Park, which was accepted and settled 1st June 2013. This unit will be the commercial fundraising arm of the project and has already commenced providing a solid income stream, being booked out in the summer and peak periods.
On 1st of July 2014 building of the two Apex Copper Coast Retreats, three bedroom cabins commenced and were completed with handover of the keys taking place on the 8th of October 2014. The task of furnishing and landscaping will occur over the next eight weeks and it is envisaged that the first of the families who will benefit from the project will have their stays in early December 2014.The fourth unit will be the obe for disbled and we are hoping to build it by 2015.
The vision of assisting families, coping with the stress and demands of a cancer diagnosis, experience a seven day holiday enjoying positive experiences and building precious new memories, is now almost complete.
The Apex Clubs and Apexians involved are proud to be witnessing the culmination of many years hard work, dedication and perseverance in the creation of the Apex Copper Coast Retreats. We look forward to the completion of the project and the benefits it will provide to South Australian families over many years to come. The Apex Copper Coast Retreats now proudly sit side by side with the Apex Chalet (The Magic Castle) and the Shoalhaven Heads Apex Cottages for Kids (S.H.A.C.K.) as the newest addition to the Apex Underprivileged Children’s Trust.
Today, we would like to send out a message to the past Apex Foundation Chairman, Tony Peters that, “the Apex Clubs of Clare, Crystal Brook, Jamestown, Kadina, Kimba, Maitland, Port August, and Whyalla accepted your challenge and thank you for lighting the spark that has grown into the Apex Copper Coast retreats on that cold day in Ballarat in 2007.”
The Postie Bike Ride has been a resounding success and this short video gives a visual representation of the stories that have made it an event to be remembered. To view it click here.