Cold night sleeping out

WHAT do a funeral director, a councillor, a property valuer and a newspaper publisher all have in common?

Quite a lot after taking the St Vinnies CEO Sleepout challenge together and spending a cold night huddled up in Gympie’s Memorial Park rotunda to raise awareness about the plight of homelessness.

It was a long eight hours for Gympie Times general manager Andrew Smith and his Rotarian counterparts, who braved six-degree temperatures with nothing more than their warm clothing, a couple of cardboard boxes, their sleeping bags and a thermos of hot soup.

Mr Smith and Gympie Funerals director Coman Reynolds, Gympie Regional Councillor Graham Engeman and property valuer Lindsay Horswood participated in their own sleep-out challenge to raise awareness of homelessness in the Gympie regional community.

All four are members of Gympie Rotary Club and no stranger to helping those less fortunate.

“It certainly gave me a real appreciation of the conditions that those less fortunate experience each night,” Mr Smith said after the event.

“It was cold, uncomfortable and noisy but well worth doing.”

Nationally over 1000 business and community leaders participated in raising $3.8 million, with all money raised going directly towards the ongoing provision of St Vinnies’ homelessness services across the country.

Make a donation to the cause on our local businessmen’s behalf at