It felt like new beginnings and yet also sweet nostalgia as our board gathered for the first time in many years in The Edwards Beer Garden last night for Awesome Newcastle. Prior to the tragic fire, The Edwards was a regular go-to location for many special Awesome Newcastles. It’s nice to return again.
We welcomed returning guest board member Oliver Gaywood of Civic Web Media, and we welcomed first timers Josh Strange of the Super Coach Whisperer and Courtney Molloy of Greater City Commission. We enjoyed the sweet happy hour specials while getting to know each other in the comfortable, candlelit space.
Paul went first. He’s works for the not-for-profit Grainery Care, and “Project 252” is a Community Centre in Mayfield, which offers a “pay it forward” Café, a “Foodcare Centre” which provides a free hot breakfast on a monthly basis to over 100 local people in need. He’s raising funds for stage two of Project 252, the provision of two fully renovated, two bedroom units – to provide accommodation for at-risk young women with children. They plan to provide women with a safe, well-located and high-quality place to live. Paul would use the money to provide a fridge and/or washing machine for one of the units.
Goya went next. Originally from Mexico, she’s an artist who has lived in Newcastle the last two years and has been active in the community, painting beautiful, distinct murals all around the city. Her artwork is inspired by her heritage, nature, street-art and pop surrealism. She told us about the different murals she’s put up in town and across the globe. She’d love to paint a new mural somewhere in Newcastle, and she would use the money to pay for materials (aerosol and anti graffiti coating).
Andrew was our final finalist. He explained that his school in Mayfield is a special ed school for children with disabilities with 48 students enrolled from Kinder to Year 12. At the school they have a STEM Lunch Club where students have a scheduled activity like Lego, Playdough making and more. This lunch education project is an ongoing opportunity for students to use problem-solving skills and higher-level thinking in a fun way. He would like to use the money to Gravitrax marble system to further promote STEM learning.
The board members then went on to debate and discuss, and then we invited Josh to the stage to award the money. Josh invited Andrew up to accept the cash! Congratulations, Andrew!
We are excited to help bring a bit of fun and learning to the kids at St. Dominic’s, and we wish Goya and Paul the best as well as they continue to do great work for our community.
Thanks for joining us for this month’s Awesome Newcastle, and we’ll see you again soon in October! If you haven’t already, start brainstorming your idea and apply to win $1000 no-strings-attached cash as a part of Awesome Newcastle.