READY TO RAISE THE BAR: Keea George will be fundraising for charity in the U.G.L.Y Bartender campaign.
READY TO RAISE THE BAR: Keea George will be fundraising for charity in the U.G.L.Y Bartender campaign. Trish Bowman

U.G.L.Y. bartender has big heart

THE U.G.L.Y. Bartender campaign has kicked off with a local woman jumping on board.

Keea George, 30, was first introduced to the campaign when her friend raised $50,000 during her run in the campaign, where she came second in Queensland.

It was then she decided to join up and make a contribution to a worthy cause.

The campaign name originates from the acronym: Understanding, Generous, Likeable, You.

Ms George will be hosting different events where she works at the Capricorn Resort in Yeppoon, with the intention of raising funds for the Leukaemia Foundation.

The money will go towards families and patients who travel to large cities for treatment and need to find a temporary place to stay.

Since 2009, U.G.L.Y. Bartenders have raised more than $11.7 million, providing over 145,000 nights of accommodation for patients and families.

Entrants in the campaign are encouraged to create events, fundraisers, games, and other experiences for the public to raise funds.

Ech bartender who raises more than $1,120 receives prizes with the highest fundraiser in each state winning a holiday, an U.G.L.Y. trophy and a Hoshizaki Ice Machine valued at $7,500 for their venue.

But Ms George said for her, it wasn't about the prizes.

"It was something I wanted to do and I wanted to make people aware of it and just get it out there,” she said.

"Being a resort, many people who come are blind to the issue and it may open their eyes to what others have to deal with and get them to step out of their comfort zone and help.

"I've got a big heart and I've lived in those houses and know where they're coming from.

"I give the foundation props for doing what they do. It's amazing.”

The campaign is run across Australia.

With Ms George's 20 years in the hospitality industry, she decided to use her skills for a good cause.

Ms George has already begun to raise money and has enlisted the help of local businesses such as Barbecues Galore and Red Hill Newsagency who have donated items for auctioning off.

"I've got donations and donation boxes at the resort, but I've still got to do a lot of leg work,” she said.

"I've already got $400 in raffle money but I don't have a goal. Every bit counts.

"It would be good for local businesses to donate because I can also put their logo on my shirt and banner.

"It's a great cause and I just love it.”

Ms George has a charity golf day at the resort planned this coming Sunday as well as a high-tea function in mid-July.

"For the charity golf day, everyone comes down for a fun-filled day and supports the cause,” she said.

"There will be meat trays and a good game of golf which is always a good thing.

"All us bartenders received our kit last month and we will start on July 1 and end the fundraising on September 11.

"If my charity golf day goes well, I'll do a second one before the fundraising campaign runs out.”