Fundraiser to send Geoff to Russia
TWEED River High School vice-captain Geoff Bonning will be blasting off before he knows it.
The 17-year-old was overwhelmed by the community support he received on Sunday when more than 300 people turned out to a fundraising day to help send him to the Russian space program.
More than $2500 was raised through activities at the Billabong Swim School in Tweed Heads to help put Geoff a giant step closer to his mission.
“The support has been amazing; I can’t thank everyone enough for coming out,” Geoff said.
The Year 12 student will travel to Russia on June 18 to visit the cosmonaut training facility Star City to learn about the Russian space program and the International Space Station, as well as meet ex-cosmonaut Alexandrei Cerebrov.
Geoff was one of six Australian students chosen for the scientific study tour through the National Youth Science Forum.
The Tweed Heads West teenager, who has ambitions to become an astronaut and the first man on Mars, said he has already picked up a Russian phrase book and has set the language on his Facebook account to Russian.
“It forces me to pick up a few words that way,” he said.
Geoff’s mother, Judy Bonning, who co-owns the Billabong Swim School, said they would look at making it an annual event to raise funds for local charities.Geoff’s trip will cost $9500 all up.
The New South Wales Government pitched in $1200 as part of the youth ambassador program.
Raffle tickets for prizes including a four-night stay at the Tweed Coast Holiday Park at Hastings Point are available from the swim school until June 16.