Camden Haven Ukulele Musicians donate two koala-shaped ukuleles to the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital

On song: Kristina Joy, Helen Hoban, Jeanlouis Cochennec, Bob Jorgensen(holding Big brother), Les Allen, Lucy Hardy, Maureen McCabe and, sitting, Zillah Williams. Photo: Ivan Sajko
On song: Kristina Joy, Helen Hoban, Jeanlouis Cochennec, Bob Jorgensen(holding Big brother), Les Allen, Lucy Hardy, Maureen McCabe and, sitting, Zillah Williams. Photo: Ivan Sajko

Fancy owning a handcrafted koala-shaped ukulele?

Well, here's your chance.

The Camden Haven Ukulele Musicians - known as the CHUMS - donated two beautiful instruments to the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital on Monday May 14.

The two ukuleles will now be auctioned as a fundraiser for the hospital. Bids are now being taken via the hospital's social media platforms - Facebook, website and Instagram.

Koala Hospital assistant clinical director Scott Castle praised the group of community-minded musicians for their fundraising effort.

"It is a little bit unique for a fundraiser, but the ukuleles are beautifully made and come with two carry bags, complete with koala emblems," he said.

"This kind of community spirit, generosity and an obvious love of koalas, is really appreciated.

"Any and all fundraising is crucial to the continued operation of the koala hospital. We receive no government funding and visitors who come to enjoy the charismatic display of koalas do not pay an entrance fee.

"We rely totally on their generosity for our running costs," he said.

Any and all fundraising is crucial to the continued operation of the koala hospital. We receive no government funding and visitors who come to enjoy the charismatic display of koalas do not pay an entrance fee.

Scott Castle

Mr Castle said it costs close to $700,000 per year to keep the koala hospital operating.

He praised the CHUMS for their involvement in the ongoing fundraising and the beautifully-crafted ukuleles.

One of the ukuleles is a soprano scale and is built using Western Red Cedar sides, white pine faces and back, Rosewood neck and features ebony nose and Birchwood frets.

The second ukulele features a white pine body, Red Cedar beck, Rosewood fret board and chrome-plated frets.

CHUMS member Bob Jorgensen made the ukuleles and says he looked forward to seeing the response from the publc.

"I like to tinker about and have made a few instruments over the years," he said.

"As a group, we like to support the koala hospital and actually played at the most recent open day.

"I hope we can raise plenty of money to cover the ongoing costs involved in keeping the koala hospital operating."

Zillah Williams hand-made the koala-style carry bags.

Bidders can stake their claim for one or both of the instruments through the Koala Hospital's website, Facebook or Instagram account.

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