Bus raiser falls short

Radio star Jamie Dunn won’t give up on bus fundraising efforts for indigenous school kids

Bus raiser falls short
Bus raiser falls short

By Sean Muir | April 3, 2012

Brisbane radio celebrity Jamie Dunn says pushing the bus to school could soon be a thing of the past for children at Acacia Ridge’s Murri School if a planned bi-annual fundraiser continues in the vein of its debut last week.

Dunn is a noted celebrity, having been the man behind 1980s television puppet ‘Agro’, since working the radio airwaves in southern Queensland.

Now with country music station 98.9FM, Dunn was on the way to bank more than $18,000 in donations when he caught up with Australasian Bus and Coach Magazine to discuss last week’s school bus fundraiser dubbed ‘Bus Week’.

"As a matter of fact you’ve caught me heading to Westpac to bank the cash I’ve got in my pocket," Dunn says.

"It feels good – the funds raised show a very positive expression of support for our indigenous students who at times have actually had to push the bus when it breaks down."

Dunn helped raise the money as part of a radio campaign run last week by 98.9FM to get a new 14 seat school bus for the Murri school children.

He says the five school buses urgently needed replacement.

"They are all struggling and coughing and wheezing," Dunn says.

"They have passed their used-by-date."

As part of the fundraiser, Dunn and his team sold ‘bus tickets’ to listeners for the chance to attend a private concert with country music group Sister Burley at a Woodford farm in southern Queensland.

Dunn says the station was inundated with calls and visits from listeners eager to donate.

"Some people who had nothing were giving 100 bucks, and some people were coming to the radio station and banging on the window, holding up 20 bucks - they didn’t even want to leave their name they just left the 20 bucks.

"It was a great exercise and it just showed that there are a lot of people out there that even if they have only got two fives they are prepared to kick it in."

Dunn says the $18,600 raised would contribute significantly toward a new bus, but that more fundraising would be needed.

"We are on the way," he says.

"It just needs another hit."

He says the station plans to run a similar fundraiser for the school twice a year, with the next one due before Christmas.

"Some of these kids don’t have another way of getting to school, particularly with the indigenous attendance rates," Dunn says.

"You want to give them every opportunity to get to school, and if they can’t get to school because there is no bus we are letting them down pretty well I think.

"And even when they do get the bus sometimes they have got to push it."

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