Snowball Express – Mt Hotham Bus Service is set to raise money for charity over 2017 snow season
Snowball Express – Mt Hotham Bus service and Mount Hotham Alpine Resort Management Board (MHARMB) are teaming up to raise money and awareness for children with life-threatening illnesses and assisting their families with grants and wishes.
Snowball Express will be kindly donating a portion of every ticket sold plus a portion of the Mount Hotham resort entry ticket sold through their business. Funds will be donated to the Make-A-Wish Australia Foundation and Starlight Children’s Foundation Australia.
Make-A-Wish Australia Foundation and Starlight Children’s Foundation Australia assist in giving sick children, teenagers and their families hope for their future by granting their wishes and allowing them to experience cherished moments.
Managing Director of Alpine Spirit Coaches (Snowball Express – Mt Hotham Bus) Mr Chris Bonacci said that the two charities were important to him and he would like to take the opportunity to help them.
“I do get emotional seeing kids and their families suffer, even when it’s on the TV like in Syria and the Middle East. Seeing them the way they live and what they are experiencing - it wrecks me,” Mr Bonacci said.
“Our business is going very well and I thought what could we do to help others. Having the great relationship with Mount Hotham and its team, I invited them to be involved.
“I recently visited an operator in Queensland who was donating a portion of their sales to a charity and I thought this was a great idea.
“We have always had a great partnership with the Mount Hotham team and they are supporting it by contributing to the cause also.
Snowball Express – Mt Hotham Bus service is hoping to raise between $15,000 to $19,000 by the end of the 2017 winter season.
Mr Bonacci is no stranger to fundraising and helping raise money for charities. He is an active member of the local community Lions Club, and more recently, he participated in the Black Dog Ride (Motorbikes) which aims to raise awareness and funds for depression and suicide prevention.
Mr Bonacci is also involved in the Alpine Rally Motorbike Ride to raise money for local communities. So far, the organisation has raised nearly $200,000 since its commencement.
Last year, the Snowball Express – Mt Hotham Bus service worked with the Starlight Children’s Foundation Australia at Mount Hotham to help bring kids up to the snow.
“Charity is a very personal thing that I’m passionate about,” Mr Bonacci said.
“We did a bit of work with the Starlight Children’s Foundation on a commercial agreement on the charter, so we were educated and exposed to what they do and who they help.
“Granting a wish out all the things they could do, the kids wanted to go to the snow – it was very humble.
“With our extensive experiences and proud reputation in the snow industry, why not help.
“I think in some small way, we all have to take advantage to help others when we can,” he said.
Alpine Spirit Coaches and the Snowball Express have also worked annually with Camp Quality by donating their services for the children from Myrtleford’s Marian College, who help to raise money for the cause - the Marian 100.
Mr Bonacci said that he was very excited to raise the money over winter and intends to continue raising money for different charities in the years to come.
“We haven’t done anything like this before, but we have always wanted to do it. We want to do it right and get it right,” Mr Bonacci said.
“I’m hoping to raise awareness and funds and if anyone wants to jump on board with us they can donate to the foundations direct or support the Snowball Express – Mt Hotham Bus Service and Mount Hotham.
“Another reason to come to Mount Hotham– a great partnership with local people coming together to help others in need.
“Local people working with local business and the community where they can and if we can help children and their families who are doing it harder than most, why not.
“Australia is a great country with wonderful people renowned for their generosity,” he said.
20 April 2017
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