AN idea two friends had to share photos of their morning walks has snowballed into a worldwide online community of photographers, a travelling international exhibition and now a book that will be launched tonight with the goal of raising money for charity.
Byron Shire artists and friends, Susan Gourley and Zoe Hudson, started the Breakfast Club Diaries on Facebook in 2012 to share photos taken on their daily walks and then shared their idea on a Facebook page now boasting more than 1300 members from across the globe.
The goodwill established among the group inspired the photographers to raise funds for the Fred Hollows Foundation - to help restore eyesight to those who need surgery.
With the support of local businesses, and the donations of members, the pair raised the $9900 needed to print 500 copies of The Breakfast Club Diaries book to be officially launched at the Byron Regional Sports and Cultural Complex tonight.
- 5pm to 7pm at Byron Regional Sports and Cultural Complex, Ewingsdale
- Copies of the book can also be ordered from susangourley.com.au/tbcd.
When all copies are sold, the book should raise $14,800 for the Fred Hollows Foundation, Ms Gourley said.
"We have members from all walks of life in the group and it has led to some amazing real-life friendships," she said.
"It is such a supportive community; there is nothing negative on there, just a commonality of sharing photos. It would have to be one of the safest communities on Facebook."
The camaraderie and goodwill of the group not only raised the money needed for the book, but led to one member organising an exhibition of photos from the group in Poland this year, with further travelling exhibitions in Australia and internationally planned for 2015.
While Susan and Zoe had never published a book before, it was the help of the community that got themover the line, she said.
The book was printed in Australia and contains more than 140 images from 40 Breakfast Club Diary contributors.
"The book has something for everyone," Susan said.
"And every sale will fund much-needed sight-saving surgery. If we can raise the $14,850 we could potentially save the eyesight of nearly 600 people."
There will be $1000 in lucky door prizes.