Happy 10th birthday Sunshine Butterflies
With the Cooroibah-based Sunshine Butterflies disability support champions about to celebrate their 10th birthday this Tuesday at their therapy farm Our Backyard with lashings of their fan favourite purple, they have been tripping down memory lane.
There’s an enormous amount of pride in this close knit team of doers in what the amazing Leanne Walsh first kicked off and continues to guide to this day.
Six years ago: “By June 2014 Sunshine Butterflies was concerned about the possibility of not being able to deliver our vital services and programs to our members. The Bartlett St property was on the market and we had to find a place to expand our services to as quickly as possible.
“Leanne had her eye on a 5-acre property located in the wallum bush in Cooroibah, which fulfilled her dreams of creating a community space to deliver Sunshine Butterflies programs and services from.
“By expanding to our own space Sunshine Butterflies would be able to grow the daily programs and begin to offer more unique services and build on Leanne’s lifelong dream of providing animal assisted therapy to people with disabilities.
“To buy this dream property situated just 5 minutes from Tewantin/Noosa, Sunshine Butterflies had to raise $100,000 in just a few short months.
“With no government funding and a massive goal, we knew we had to kick our fundraising into overdrive. Together with our dedicated staff and volunteers, and through the help of local venues, businesses and community members, Leanne worked tirelessly to raise over $100,000 for Sunshine Butterflies hobby farm.
“After nine months of fundraising, we were finally the owners of our very own hobby farm.
It was a surreal feeling for everyone to finally have a permanent home for Sunshine Butterflies.
“When raising these funds, Sunshine Butterflies received so many donations from people Leanne had never even met, including an anonymous donor who put $1000 wrapped in a newspaper clipping in her letterbox one day.
“The power of the paper and the local community really showed during this time.
“Once purchased, things moved quickly. We had businesses, community groups and individuals volunteer their time, services and skills to help us move forward with our vision.
We were also lucky enough to win one of the largest Dick Smith photo competitions in the country. This prize money went towards the development of ‘Our Backyard’ and helped us on our way to completing our project.
“Shortly after, Noosa Council then unanimously voted in favour of ‘Sunshine Butterflies development application for material change of use’, and we were ready to go. Over the next three years, we slowly began to move our programs and services out to our 5-acre property.
“We can’t wait to show you the progress.”