Casey Apiata is a young man on a mission to do all he can to ensure all his classmates have the chance to attend their school formal, selling a framed plastic bag for $500 in a bid to reduce the cost of tickets.
The Deception Bay State High School house captain Casey Apiata framed the Woolworths plastic shopping bag in 2017, when they were banned, thinking one day it might be worth something.
“We got rid of them and then I found one in my room, so I was like ‘I should frame it and see what happens in a couple years’,” Casey recalls.
“I thought I might get some money out if it and I have. Originally, I put it on Facebook Marketplace for $100 for a formal suit for me and an anonymous donor gave me enough money to buy a suit (and cover other formal expenses). He didn’t want to buy the bag, but then I got all these other offers.”
Thrillhouse art gallery at Camp Hill made an offer before 97.3FM radio duo Will and Woody made the winning bid of $500.
Casey accepted their offer and donated the full amount to the school’s formal committee to reduce the $110 ticket price for his classmates.
The donation has only taken $2.50 off the cost of each ticket, so there is still work to do.
“The art gallery is still raising money for us, so they’re still wanting to contribute. I’m just seeing if there are any more businesses around that want to help out and make it cheaper for us,” Casey says.
The formal is due to be held at Riverlife Brisbane on November 19 and Casey wants all 153 Year 12 students to have the opportunity to go.
“I’ve been with them since Grade 7, so let’s all go together for one last night, together with our teachers, dancing and having a good laugh and making memories. I just want everyone to be there and no one to miss out,” he says.
His next project is trying to organise a fundraising personal training session at school and his trainer has even started collecting donations of formal dresses to give to students who need them.
State Member for Bancroft Chris Whiting says he will donate $300 to the formal committee, inspired by Casey’s efforts.
Anyone who is willing to help with fundraising or make a donation, can phone the school on 3897 2222.
Find more community news here