For Stu and his creatures

Hi folks,

In two weeks' time, I'll be walking the Cooloola Great Walk in memory of my partner, Stuart Weavell. It's a five-day walk from Noosa to Rainbow Beach, about 90km in total. I'm hoping to raise funds for a cause that was close to his heart - YAPS or the Young Animal Protection Society. They are a non-profit that cares for homeless dogs and cats, and they rely on volunteers and donations to function.

I had this idea some time ago, but I've been putting off doing it because I didn't think I had the words - to ask for your help, to talk about Stu in the past tense, and most of all to sum up the incredible man he was. I'm still not sure I do. We lost Stu in March this year, in an aircraft accident at Lockhart River. Almost 8 months later, it remains as shocking as it was the day it happened. Slowly, though, the gratitude for having had him in my life is starting to envelop the pain of losing him.

Stu had been a commercial pilot for 6 years, and his career took him all over Australia. It included mustering sheep in Tarcoola; two stints in Gunbalanya (Arnhem Land), the second time as chief pilot; survey flying across QLD, VIC and NSW (where we met); and two years of flying charters to remote Cape York and Gulf communities. Flying brought him joy in many ways - wild views, exploring a country he was proud of, and being part of the community. A big part of that was the animals he came across.

Over the years, Stu rescued or raised a host of creatures (dogs, cats, birds, snakes, frogs, skinks). He performed emergency medicine (pup needed stitches!). He personally bought and flew food over to the communities to top up supplies for the local dogs. He donated generously to programs like YAPS (we never once went shopping without buying something for the YAPS donation bin). Most importantly, in my opinion, he taught this shy city-slicker to love animals. I hope that I can honour his legacy in some small way by doing this walk.

If this resonates with you, I'd love it if you'd contribute to my fundraiser. I will match all contributions made up to $5000.

I know things are tight this year. Even if you can't contribute, hopefully YAPS and their amazing, selfless work will make you consider adoption in the future. Thanks for reading. I'll keep you all updated as I go.


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Liz Thomas 
Woree, Australia
Young Animal Protection Society Inc 
Registered nonprofit
Donations are typically tax deductible in Australia.
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