Success Stories

Apex can sometimes be very reluctant to showcase its success or list its achievements. From time to time we will give you some success stories, some contemporary and others historical, that reflect the can do attitude of Apexians and their ability to harness community goodwill, reflect community values and challenge the status quo.

 

Guide Dogs

Apex has been supporting Guide Dogs for more than 50 years and was integral in the establishment of the first Guide Dogs training centre in Australia.

Claremont Apex Club (WA) members helped secure the first Guide Dogs Training Centre at Shenton Park, and Apex members continued to serve Guide Dogs Australia in an official capacity over many years.

During their Easter Convention in 1957, Apex voted to adopt Guide Dogs for the blind as Apex's National Service Scheme. This played a big part in establishing the movement on a national basis.

In 2006 APEX NSW/ACT committed themselves to assisting Guide Dogs NSW on a state and territory level and in doing so they now contribute more than $50k per year with their ongoing commitment.
 

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Gympie Muster

In 1982, Gympie based country music trio, the Webb Brothers, picked up a Golden Guitar for "Who Put The Roo In The Stew?" at the Tamworth Country Music Festival - a celebration was called for! After enlisting the help of the local Apex Club of Gympie (always ready for a party), a celebratory fund-raiser was held on the Webb's 100-year old property at Thornside. A ball and dinner on the Saturday night was followed by a selection of acts on the Sunday, the Muster's first Main Stage built out of bush timber and borrowed Queensland Rail tarpaulins. The showers were jam tins with holes punched into them, drophole toilets sufficed, drinking water was trucked to the site and patrons could buy a season pass for just $20. Announcers from 4KQ compered the show and SEQ Television produced a special program commemorating the event. All up $9,600 was spent on entertainment (which is about two-percent of today's budget), a couple of thousand people attended and the club generated a surplus of around $12,000 for charity. The first Muster was deemed a roaring success.

Now 32 years young and going as strong as ever, the now iconic Muster has grown each year, with all profits distributed among worthy charities, both locally and nationally. An ever-growing number of community groups are also involved in the staging of the event, and for most, it is their major fundraiser for the year. There is a real sense of community ownership in the Muster with now more than 50 local community groups involved in the event's success.

Since its inception, the Muster has raised more than $14,000,000 dollars for charities Australia-wide.

 

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Help a Kid Make It

In the mid 1970's two Apex members had children who suffered from Leukemia - Life member Jack Kasses (Childers, Qld) and John Lough (Woollongong). This close involvement with a tragic problem caused the two fathers to question the amount of knowledge available dealing with the cause, prevention, treatment and cure of leukemia in children. The need for research into the disease was painfully apparent.

Apex adopted the Children's Leukemia & Cancer Research Foundation as the Association Scheme for 1977-78, using the slogan "Some Kids Make it - Some Kids Don't - Help a Kid Make It." On the 5th October 1978, National President Graham Sampson presented to Jack Kasses, Chairman of the Leukemia Foundation, a cheque for $1,000,000!

Apex continues to support the Childrens Cancer Institute, through its Childrens Cancer & Leukemia Trust. Since the 1980's, the Apex Foundation has contributed over $2 million to this heart-breaking cause. More Australian children die from cancer than any other disease. Sadly, nearly a third of kids still don't make it, despite tremendous achievements over recent decades.
 

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Operation Snowman

Operation Snowman is an initiative of the Apex Clubs of Western Australia, who have been taking groups of underprivileged children to the Apex Magic Castle at Smiggin Holes for the ski camp of a lifetime since 1985.

In 2006 members of the Sarina Apex Club in Queensland latched onto this idea and through developing a relationship with Camp Quality, fundraised $25,000 each year in 2007, 2009 and 2012 and led a party of 28 campers to experience the holiday of a lifetime.

Apex’s Magic Castle, built at Smiggin Holes in 1978//79 by an amazing group of 530 Apexians from 5 states led by Past National President Graham Salter, is now managed by a committed group of volunteers under the stewardship of the Apex Foundation.

The Magic Castle was opened by Prime Minister Malcolm Frazer in October 1979,the International Year of the Child. The Chalet has seen thousands of underprivileged and sick kids through its doors for almost 40 years, giving them the wonderful opportunity to forge lasting friendships and enjoy a magical holiday in the snow.
 

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making a difference

"We have been so lucky to have worked with Apex over the last few months. My daughter Pippa who is 4 years old and suffers from cerebral palsy was our reason for coming into contact with Blacktown Apex. Due to difficulties walking long distances Pippa was in need of a manual wheelchair. The people at Apex have been more than generous and supported my daughter and our whole family through this difficult process. They were very generous and assisted us with a donation towards her Manual wheelchair, and other donations towards further medical assistance for our little fighter.

The lovely people of Apex who express such a caring and helpful natures have been of overwhelming support to my family. We are so very grateful for all their hard work and support and so thankful that they were able to assist us to gain this important piece of equipment for Pippa to attend her appointments."

Joanne Gray