Gannaways Christmas Lights Tour brings joy to children at Tuart House

Gannaways Charters & Tours team members Janet Dye, Ray Gannaway, Tuart House outreach worker Sue and Robyn Robertson.
Gannaways Charters & Tours team members Janet Dye, Ray Gannaway, Tuart House outreach worker Sue and Robyn Robertson.

Communicare's Tuart House residential support service for women and their children who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness because of family domestic violence (FDV), has received a late Christmas surprise and hope for a new playground.

Gannaways Charters & Tours owners Ray and Chihiro Gannaway have donated $2,000 to Tuart House this week after reading a story about the service in last week's Busselton-Dunsborough Mail.

Each year, Mr and Ms Gannaway choose a local charity or support service to donate the proceeds of their annual Christmas Lights Tours and this year Tuart House was the lucky recipient.

Communicare chief executive Melissa Perry said that with the spike in FDV-related incidents during the COVID-19 pandemic and increasing demand for safe, secure accommodation, the donation was much needed.

"The Tuart House team is so thankful to Ray, Chihiro and everyone at Gannaways for their generous support to make the lives of the women and children who come to us for help just that little bit easier," she said.

"Last year we had to remove our outdated children's play equipment, so the money will contribute to creating a new play area for children, many of whom have experienced significant trauma in their short lives.

"All donations from the public help us to provide a welcoming, inclusive space for single women, mothers and their children from across the South-West region; somewhere they can feel secure and supported to start the healing process.

"Again, I'd like to thank Gannaways and everyone who participated in the Christmas Lights tours for your generosity and community spirit."

Mr Gannaway said he was happy to support a worthwhile cause and thanked his team for donating their time to the Christmas Lights Tour.

All drivers on the tour volunteered their time, which Mr Gannaway doubles and donates to a local charity along with the gold coin donations.

"We had about 670 people on the tour last year who made a gold coin donation, we made up to $2,000," he said.

"It was a lot of fun and we look forward to it every year."