BIG BUCKS: The three artworks featured in this month's exhibition at the Kingaroy Art Gallery hoping to raise money towards Josie Potter's MS Queensland campaign.
BIG BUCKS: The three artworks featured in this month's exhibition at the Kingaroy Art Gallery hoping to raise money towards Josie Potter's MS Queensland campaign. Laura Blackmore

Silent auction bids to bump up MS campaign tally

AS JOSIE Potter prepares to participate in her 10th and final MS Brissie to the Bay next year, she has a hefty amount of local support peddling behind her.

Since being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis nearly 20 years ago, the South Burnett woman has raised an impressive $100,000 for the MS foundation.

Now, a local group has generously offered to kick start her fundraising campaign.

Mrs Potter was contacted by the women behind the Canvases and Cupcakes artistic group, who are currently exhibiting at the Kingaroy Art Gallery, and was asked if she would accept their donations from a silent auction.

Currently hanging amongst their collection, the women have set up a display of the works, which includes three pieces to be auctioned off at the end of August.

Located in the front room of the gallery the funds will be donated to the MS Queensland Ambassador's campaign.

"They rang me out of the blue one morning and said we have decided to do a silent auction,” Mrs Potter said.

"The women asked me if I would be interested in them donating to my MS fundrasier campaign.

"And of course I accepted the donation.

"I was just so over the moon and it always flaws me the generosity that comes from our local community,” she said.

As one of the 13 MS ambassadors in Queensland, Mrs Potter said there were a number of reasons why it will be her last Brissie to the Bay bike ride.

"My legs have gotten weaker and I am finding it hard to ride,” Mrs Potter said.

"As well as my chronic illness, I also suffered a stroke and brain aneurysm six years ago.

"I do everything and anything to keep the body going but I also have to be realistic.

"I'm 52 now and even though everything might appear normal from the outside, they inside is a different story.”

"The last few times I have only managed the 25km but I've always wanted to do the 100km ride,” she said.

Josie Potter was thrilled to receive a call from the local artistic group Canvases and Cupcakes that they were going to do a silent auction at their exhibition.
Josie Potter was thrilled to receive a call from the local artistic group Canvases and Cupcakes that they were going to do a silent auction at their exhibition. Laura Blackmore

With this goal in her mind plus 10 months to train up her body, Mrs Potter is also going to be relying on her new wheels to get her through the tough course.

The South Burnett local applied for special funding through the NDIS and has been granted some money to contribute towards her power assisted bike bought at local business Peter Stevens Motor Cycles.

The combination of the silent auction under way and early preparations for the ride, Mrs Potter is optimistic about her last ride next year.

"I'm excited to see people from over the years who have joined us come together for my final ride,” Mrs Potter said.

"It's a funny thing, I would never wish MS on another person and it doesn't matter if they were the worst person on earth.

"But it hasn't brought all negatives to my life as there's always a silver lining,” she said.

Last bids for the silent auction as part of Your Way and Mine by Canvases and Cupcakes at the Kingaroy Art Gallery close on Thursday August, 29.

The different jars where people can place their bids for this month's silent auction at the Kingaroy Art Gallery.
The different jars where people can place their bids for this month's silent auction at the Kingaroy Art Gallery. Laura Blackmore