To launch Willo was to celebrate a milestone. It was to share the renovation of our beautiful old red rattler, showcase the stunning art that has come to us in the form of old refurbished cricket bats and for a moment .. rejoice in the fact .. that we made it.
It was to be an intimate gathering of friends and family and Wills supporters … I realised that he had many more than I cared to think about. He had many people that cared and followed the dream we had of creating a business for him and many others with intellectual disabilities.
We are now apart of an amazing site called The Grounds Kazcare. It is home to a cooking school, art space, youth radio, a robot that interacts with autistic kids and an amazing aboriginal cafe. We all came together at our launch to celebrate so it was especially gratifying to feel that Willo Industries is part of something very special that will provide opportunity and growth and a future.
The night brought together close to 100. They wandered through the train, admired the bats, watched Will on WIN TV News and eventually made their way to Koori Kulcha to eat the most beautiful food drink wine from Cutaway Hill, listen to live music from Nick and Jason and hear words of Wills journey to this place in time.
We are so grateful to Nick Rheinberger for sharing the story of Wills bat on HMAS Newcastle. The Willo cricket bat has been on an incredible journey around the Middle East and Will has become one of the crew sharing the commonality of courage and resistance as quoted by the ships Captain. The bat has hit balls on many beaches, the deck and has been played by many courageous hands.
Nick has witnessed Wills journey for the past 10 years and he managed to highlight the most important aspects being family, community and determination.
We are enamoured by the generosity of Peter Kazacos and his desire to make such a big difference in the lives of many and for creating this space we know as Kazcare. So many families and individuals have and will benefit.
The night was lovely. The train looked amazing with its new sign made by Wills dad, James.
It has been a very long road and one that will continue for many more years. We need to constantly celebrate the small and big moments to remind us how far we have come and continue to grow . Through Will we have created an incredible community and a following of people that desire to be connected and to make a small difference in this world.
The launch of Willo Industries is more than cricket bats and a business .. it is a movement.