Incredible act: Penthouse proceeds go to COVID cure
IN AN act of unprecedented generosity, a Sunshine Coast great-grandfather will donate millions from the sale of his luxury penthouse to help fight deadly COVID-19.
Keith Drake, 82, will give the entire sum from his opulent Maroochydore property - for which he paid $2.75 million in 2006 - to the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital Foundation Coronavirus Action Fund.
The semi-retired builder learned about Queensland's participation in an international trial of antiviral drugs by reading The Courier-Mail.
"I have always done a certain amount of giving when I have seen people in need, and I felt the RBWH Foundation needed the funding," said Mr Drake.
While he and wife Glenda and their 57-year-old son Neville, who has quadriplegia cerebral palsy and requires around-the-clock care, moved out of the Melrose Parade property and onto acreage five years ago, it has continued to earn him a tidy rental income.
"I have enough and the family has enough, so I said to Glenda, 'let's do it', and she said yes," said Mr Drake, who has four children, five grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
The 670 sqm four-bedroom home at "Melrose on Fifth" boasts multiple balconies with sweeping ocean and hinterland views, marble benchtops, three bathrooms, and a private heated swimming pool and sauna. It also has a temperature-controlled wine cellar, media room, secure parking for four cars, and is 300 metres from the beach.
The auction will take place online, given COVID-19 restrictions, from tonight, with bids made and viewed in real time until the May 16 closing date.
Richardson & Wrench Coolum will take no commission from the sale.
Agency principal Mark Lawler said he was hoping to draw interest from around Australia.
"I reckon if Shane Warne's baggy green can generate more than a million for bushfire relief there will be people willing to put their hand up to support efforts to find treatments for COVID-19," Mr Lawler said.
RBWH Foundation CEO Simone Garske said Mr Drake's generosity was "incredible".
"Funds from the sale of the property will allow research projects, such as clinical trials, to occur and be expanded when necessary, so we get answers faster," Mr Garske said.
Mr Drake, who founded Drake Homes in 1961 and remains a consultant, is no stranger to helping others.
When visiting Papua New Guinea a few years ago, he and Glenda were struck by the plight of locals desperate to educate their children.
"I asked them what they needed most, and they said they'd like some pencils and magazines," he said.
"I thought, well that's not going to fix their problems, so I went home and worked on a plan, then hired a tradesperson to go over there with me to help set it up."
Mr Drake's assistance included solar panels for electricity, tools for mending buildings, fishing gear, a satellite dish for TV and computers - enough to establish three schools on the island of Kitava.
He said the sale of his penthouse was about realising what was most important.
"The penthouse brings in a bit of rent, but we don't need to have it. There are bigger concerns now."
To bid go to www.openn.com.au and search for Melrose on Fifth or to watch the bidding go to https://www.openn.com.au/app/view/bqgcstmpv9jg18gjt7ug
Originally published as Incredible act: Penthouse proceeds go to COVID cure