Berry exciting times as Ekka icon goes on road

Queenslanders can enjoy an Ekka favourite and a 30-year Ekka tradition can continue after the Queensland Government donated $75,000 to a Brisbane charity.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said the donation allowed The Prince Charles Hospital Foundation’s The Common Good initiative to go ‘on the road’ to sell the iconic Ekka Strawberry Sundae to raise much needed money for medical research.

“Donating this money provides assistance to strawberry farmers directly impacted by COVID-19 and The Common Good whose traditional fundraising efforts have been impacted by the Ekka’s COVID-19 enforced cancellation,” Mr Furner said.

“In the great tradition of the show must go on, Queenslanders will still be able to enjoy this much-loved taste of Ekka from five pop-up Strawberry Sundae stalls around Brisbane during the scheduled 10 days of Ekka from August 7 to 16.

“Alternatively, you can host your own strawberry sundae moment at your workplace, school or sporting club, or arrange a get together with friends and family, by purchasing the limited edition Do It Yourself Strawberry Sundae pack that contains all the very special ingredients that can only be available at Ekka.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for everyone to contribute in a practical way as we unite and recover from the economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I encourage everyone to grab an Ekka Strawberry Sundae to support Queensland’s strawberry growers and dairy industry and The Common Good’s 30-year tradition of raising money for medical research that benefits all Queenslanders.”

The Common Good Chief Executive Officer Michael Hornby said the Queensland Government’s support ensured that the returns to lifesaving research were maximised.

“For every dollar gifted by the Government, we will return over three times that in benefit to the research community and valuable income to Queensland businesses who supply the equipment and product,” Mr Hornby said.

“The Strawberry Sundae is its own economy that involves 4 tonnes of fresh Queensland strawberries, 6 tonnes of local Lick strawberry ice cream and 3 tonnes of vanilla, fridges, freezers, transport, cones, and cream, and some casual jobs.

“Ironically, funds raised from the sale of Ekka Strawberry Sundaes will be used to help in the battle against COVID-19, the virus that has changed our world and meant our sundaes will be delivered differently this year.”

Mr Hornby said more than 150,000 people each year enjoyed an Ekka Strawberry Sundae.

“Having to deliver sundaes differently this year means we have set a target of selling 60,000 sundaes,” Mr Hornby said.

“But selling sundaes is vital to The Prince Charles Hospital Foundation and our researchers’ lifesaving medical research.

“And of course, it gives people the chance to have that little Ekka treat that signifies hope in what has been a challenging year for all of us.”

Mr Furner said anyone who buys an Ekka Strawberry Sundae should tag a photo of it on #eatqld, the government’s campaign to encourage the community to eat local, stay healthy and support jobs in the state’s agricultural sector.

“Using #eatqld in association with strawberry sundaes will drive support for Queensland’s world-class agricultural products, particularly our dairy and berry-licious strawberries,” Mr Furner said.

“It will also be a wonderful way to the support the RNA, a valued #eatqld partner which is facing its own challenges following the cancellation of this year’s Ekka.

“Queensland’s produce is second to none so, when you have an Ekka Strawberry Sundae, take a photograph and share it online using the hashtag #eatqld.”

To order the Strawberry Sundae pack visit www.thecommongood.org.au – orders close 23 July.

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