Fundraising queen takes out showgirl trifecta
A SELL-OUT crowd danced the night away at the Gympie Show Ball on Saturday night and watched as Kellie Gear took out the trifecta of Charity Showgirl, Gympie Showgirl and the first showgirl entrant in history to raise more than $30,000.
Her heartfelt speech thanked the community for its support and generosity during a challenging 12 months.
"Thank you to the wonderful supportive Gympie and district community who have endured two major floods during the course of my fundraising and who are feeling the effect of the economic climate of present but still gave generously to my fundraising events," she said.
Together, the 2013 showgirl entrants raised more than $81,000 - a new record and a welcome injection of cash for one of Queensland's best - if not the best - agricultural shows.
Kellie, 20, will now compete in the Near North Coast Sub-chamber regional finals of the Showgirl quest, to be held in the Gympie Civic Centre on June 29.
Kellie's crowning was not the first taste of Showgirl victory for her Mooloo family.
Her mum, Cherie Carlson, was Miss Charity Showgirl in 1989, and was front and centre throughout Kellie's multiple fundraising events over the past year, and when the big announcement was made on Saturday night by Show Society president Lars Hedberg.
Seventeen-year-old Georgia Elliot was crowned Junior Showgirl.
MCs Zinc Morning Zoo crew Nugget and Al kicked the evening off with some hilarious banter, introducing the junior and senior showgirl entrants and their partners, and eventually presenting Kellie's partner, Simon Tryhorn, with his own tiara, complete with pink netting.
Once the official part of the evening was completed, local band Sneaky Pete fired up the stage and kept the dance floor full until midnight.
The event was yesterday hailed a great success by Show Society secretary Debbie Rowlands, who is counting down to the start of the 2013 Gympie Show in just nine days.