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COAST STOPS TO PAY TRIBUTE TO A LEGEND
News Source: Sunshine Coast Daily (19th November 2007)
by Sam Benger
Click image to enlarge

Why the coast will be a sea of khaki today

FOUR days of celebration of the life of Sunshine Coast wildlife warrior Steve Irwin kick off today, and have attracted support from across the nation.

Thousands of Croc Hunter fans are expected to flock to Australia Zoo today to join in celebrating Steve's life, which was tragically cut short on September 4 last year when a stingray barb pierced his heart as he was filming a documentary on Batt Reef, off the north Queensland coast.

Celebrations will include performances from Olivia Newton-john and Jimmy Barnes, and Bindi Irwin will launch three new songs with the Crocmen. continued below

Coast stops to pay tribute to a legend

TERRI Irwin will unveil a statue of her late husband today as part of the celebrations for the first Steve Irwin Day.

Thousands of Croc Hunter fans are expected to clock to Australia Zoo today to join in celebrating Steve's life, which was tragically cut short on September 4 last year when a stingray barb pierced his heart as he was filming a documentary on Batt Reef, off the north Queensland coast.

Celebrations will include performances from Olivia Newton-john and Jimmy Barnes, and Bindi Irwin will launch three new songs with her back-up singers, the Crocmen, while Terri will launch her new book, My Steve.

Terri told the Daily yesterday that she was looking forward to celebrating Steve's great passions in life: wildlife and family.

"I'll be unveiling a new statue of Steve, and Olivia Newton-John and Jimmy Barnes will be rocking the Crocoseum," She said. "We're encouraging people to come along in their khakis, take the day off work and make a difference to the Wildlife Warriors.

"We want to celebrate Steve's life and his passions and let people know that we'll keep his legacy going."

The celebrations will then continue into the weekend, with the inaugural Steve Irwin Classic, combing a surf competition and a golf day.

The Australia Zoo team will get a helping hand from former pro-surfer Matt Hoy for the surf event, while Zoo director Wes Mannion will be teeing off for the golf day.

A spokeswoman from Australia Zoo said participants would be battling it out for a chance at the Crikey Cup, which is being kept under wraps until Saturday night.

She said the event was the first major fundraiser for the Wildlife Warriors since the Croc Hunter's death last September and was an opportunity for Australia Zoo to thank the local community for their ongoing support.

The Steve Irwin Classic finishes with a gala dinner at the Novotel Twin Waters on Saturday night, with performances from former Australian Idol contender Ricki-Lee and up-and-coming band Inakin.

Check out our video tribute to Steve Irwin at thedaily.com.au

Poet Ryan off to see his dream girl

SEVEN-YEAR-OLD Ryan Gilder hopes to meet his dream girl today.

The Golden Beach boy wrote a beautiful poem to the Daily in the hope that he would lay eyes on Bindi Irwin.

The poem won Ryan a family pass to Steve Irwin Day at Australia Zoo.

Sadly, Ryan's father passed away in May. Ryan feels he and Bindi have lot in common and wants to celebrate their dads' lives together.

In his poem he wrote: "My name is Ryan and I'm seven years old. There's a great celebration of Steve's life, so I've been told.

"See, seven months ago my dad went to Heaven like Steve, but boy what a mark on the world they did leave.

"Like Bindi I miss my dad every day. I would love to go to Steve's Day at Steve Irwin Way."

Ryan's mother, Jay Gilder, said that when he found out he had won a family pass Ryan was so excited he replayed the answering machine message from Entertainer editor Lisa Kither over and over.

"He couldn't believe he had won," she said. "He really likes Steve Irwin and he's keen to try to meet Bindi tomorrow.

"He talks about Bindi sometimes, and says ‘she doesn't have a dad like me', so he relates to that.

"We're also taking his little friend and his friend's mum. We're keen to see Olivia Newton and Jimmy Barnes and want to take the kids to see the animals."

The competition ran in last Friday's Entertainer magazine.

Steve Irwin Day kicks off with the unveiling of a tribute to Steve by Terri Irwin, then the Crocoseum will be rocking with three new songs performed by Bindi.

The zoo's activities include a Khaki Catwalk Parade judged by Bindi.

Everyone who wears khaki will receive 10% off the admission price and a free wristband.


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