Daniel Morcombe Foundation moves to The Big Pineapple
THE Big Pineapple, not far from where Daniel Morcombe went missing, was a favoured destination for his family.
So it is fitting the Daniel Morcombe Foundation has moved to the Sunshine Coast icon, officially opening its doors with a special event this Sunday.
The foundation's new administration and merchandise office will include a counselling room for sexually abused children and is expected to open in January, another step towards an area Bruce and Denise Morcombe are passionate about.
Daniel was 13 years old when he went missing waiting for a bus on the Nambour Connection Rd in 2003.
His remains were discovered last year in the Glasshouse Mountains and the man charged with his murder and abduction will face a committal hearing in Brisbane later this month.
Mr Morcombe said the Big Pineapple's new owners approached them when they settled the purchase.
"They have been very generous in providing rent-free accommodation for years to come," he said.
Mrs Morcombe said she was pleased the move would give the foundation a long-term base.
"We had simply outgrown our cramped amenities in Maroochydore," she said.
"Joining with an Australian icon like The Big Pineapple is very special.
"We used to visit it as a family quite often and Daniel loved the place. It will be magic to see it red".
To celebrate the move, The Big Pineapple will be turned red, Daniel's favourite colour, each evening for the next week.
The community is invited to visit The Big Pineapple this Sunday for Sunday Fiesta.
This weekend will be a special DMF celebration with free activities between 11am and 1pm, including free face painting and a jumping castle.
Anyone who rides the train between 9.30am and 2.30pm on Sunday automatically goes in the draw to win one of two family passes valued at up to $300 for two adults, two children to the Golden Days Festival in Coolum on November 17.
Big Pineapple general manager Brendan Weatherill said the significance of DMF setting up at the icon would not be lost on the community.
"We are more than aware it has been a particularly tough year for the Morcombes with ongoing proceedings," he said.
"We feel it is timely that they are welcomed home to the area for a restful Christmas and we will do all we can to support them in this.
"As was with the Walk for Daniel Day, this is a time to celebrate with them in this case with their new location."