A cool change is coming to the Mount Isa Race Club thanks to two large marquees, which are being purchased with funding from Queensland Country Credit Union’s Good for Good Community Grants.

Community groups across Queensland were invited to apply for a share of $100,000 to fund a particular project, with successful applicants ranging from a road safety training track for young cyclists, to an emergency helicopter landing pad for an isolated town.

Race Club President Danny Ballard said the community would benefit greatly from the marquees.

“Country horse races are part of the social fabric of life in rural areas and create an opportunity for communities to socialise and network,” Mr Ballard said.

“They create optimism and build community pride, support feelings of belonging and increase cohesion among rural people who may be living with a degree of isolation.”

Mr Ballard said the club had identified a crucial need for additional sun protection due to the extreme conditions in Mount Isa.

“With the average UV Index rated by the Bureau of Meteorology as Very High, these marquees will be vital in avoiding skin damage, heat stroke and dehydration,” he said.

An element of Queensland Country’s Good for Good Community Grants involves the concept of paying it forward, with grant recipients partnering with the Credit Union to fundraise 10% of their grant amount for Ronald McDonald House Charities. That fundraising will be boosted with an additional $20,000 contribution from Queensland Country.

Queensland Country Local Manager Graham Barram said his team was proud to give back to the community in a tangible way.

“The Credit Union received 64 applications from not-for-profit groups around the state, who were seeking funding of between $5,000 and $30,000 to get their important projects off the ground,” Mr Barram said.

“It was really heart-warming to see how much good is being done at a grass-roots level in our communities,” he said.

“Choosing the grant recipients was a difficult challenge for our judging committee, but ultimately the winners were chosen based on the genuine benefits their projects would bring to the community, as well as their ability to pay it forward, or do ‘good for good’ by fundraising for our charity partner.”

This is the first year that Queensland Country has run the Good for Good program, and follows a long history of supporting local initiatives.

“We have injected $2 million into community projects since 2005,” Mr Barram said.

“It’s all part of our difference as a customer owned banking organisation. Without external shareholders to pay dividends to, we can invest our profits into local communities while providing the best possible products and services to our Members.”