For most Sydneysiders the Kings Cross Coca-Cola sign is just as much a part of the Sydney skyline as Sydney Harbour Bridge or Sydney Opera House. Meanwhile under the light of the neon letters another Kings Cross icon, The Wayside Chapel, has been quietly working hardfor the local community since 1964.
Now the iconic sign is giving back to the people of Sydney who need it most. Over a five-day auction campaign the public were given a chance to purchase the letters of the original Kings Cross Coca-Cola sign, with all proceeds to be donated to local charity, The Wayside Chapel.
On the evening of Monday September 12th the auction closed, and the results were beyond all expectations. The overall campaign raised a total of $100,700 for The Wayside Chapel.
The funds raised by the auction will be directed towards the charity’s various programs – including their youth outreach service, twilight team, community cafe and Aboriginal Project– as well as their community service centres in both Kings Cross and Bondi. These programs are all designed to ensure the most disadvantaged members of our community have access to essential health, welfare, social and recreational services.
“For as long as anyone can remember, the Coke sign has been an icon of Kings Cross,” said Graham Long, pastor at The Wayside Chapel.
“Just as important has been the work of The Wayside Chapel, providing a human presence for all those who’ve struggled or burnt themselves out. Kings Cross has been a destination for a good time – some crash, and some restart and find a new beginning. Almost entirely funded by community support, Wayside is delighted to use funds from the sale of the original Coke sign, to help those on their way to a better life,” Graham said.
Coca-Cola South Pacific president, Roberto Mercadé, said the company was delighted to be able to support such an important part of the local community. “The Kings Cross Coke sign is one of Sydney’s most internationally recognisable landmarks and we knew we had to find a way to keep a part of the old sign alive. What better way than to help a great local charity like the Wayside Chapel in the process?”
“We have not only found new homes for the old sign but also had the opportunity give back to the Kings Cross community by raising money for people who need it most,” Roberto said.
On Thursday September 15th the new Kings Cross Coca-Cola sign was officially switched on to continue to light up Kings Cross for many years to come – just as a few small pieces of the original sign have ensured The Wayside Chapel can continue to support Sydney communities into the future.