Mark Webber Challenge Foundation
Established in 2006, the Mark Webber Challenge Foundation was created to umbrella all of Mark Webber’s philanthropic activities. A strong believer in providing direct assistance to those in need, the MWCF allows Mark to be hands on in selecting who benefits from his fundraising efforts and to ensure that all funds raised are applied to the source.
Since its inception, The Mark Webber Challenge Foundation has raised over $1 million and has supported a number of nominated charities including TLC for Kids, Brainwave and the Cancer Council Tasmania’s Cancer Plus.
The Foundation most recently supported the Leukaemia Foundation in funding their Bell City Apartments. Recently referred to as a “Haven of Hope”, the four serviced apartments are used to house patients and their families from regional and rural areas while they are receiving treatment in city hospitals, providing a stable base and central support network for those fighting through, what is often, their darkest days.
The other beneficiary in 2008 was the Save the Tasmanian Devil Appeal. The aim of the appeal is an insurance population of devils safe from disease, where healthy devils produce healthy pouch young capable of being released to the wild in the future; develop ways of protecting healthy devils from becoming infected and investigate different anti-cancer drugs.
Money raised through the MWCF has pledged to fund planned improvements and construction of the Tasmanian Devil breeding facilities at Australia Zoo.
In both 2011 and 2012 the Mark Webber Challenge Foundation raised much needed funds for the Save the Tasmanian Devil Appeal as well as the White Lion Foundation through the Swisse Mark Webber Tasmania Challenge. In total, over $165,000 has been raised.
Save the Tasmanian Devil Program: In 1996, a fatal disease was detected in Tasmanian devils, which has spread rapidly through most of the devil population. The Save the Tasmanian Devil Program (STDP) and collaborators have discovered that the disease, now identified as Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD), is a rare transmissible cancer. DFTD has resulted in a decline of 84% in Tasmanian devil numbers; in some areas this decline is as high as 97%. The disease is always fatal and to date no cure or vaccine has been found.
The aim of the appeal is an insurance population of devils safe from disease, where healthy devils produce healthy pouch young capable of being released into the wild in the future, as well as develop ways of protecting healthy devils from becoming infected and investigate different anti-cancer drugs.