The plight of drought-stricken farmers struggling to feed starving livestock has certainly hit a nerve with the Tenterfield community, which raised more than $13,000 for the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners on Saturday night, June 23.
Staff at the local Commonwealth Bank branch – Debbie Minns, Megan Watters and Jess Shearer – organised the trivia night at the Tenterfield Golf Club as their contribution to a corporate call to support the drought-fighting initiative, and were bowled over by the community’s response.
“I’m just blown away,” Mrs Minns said.
The Golf Club’s function room was packed to the extent that one ‘table’ of participants was perched at the bar (not sure if it was really a space issue) and table bookings and donations were still coming in as proceedings got underway. In the end there were 28 tables seating 169 participants.
More than $10,000 was raised from Steve Alford’s auctioneering of donated goods alone. There were 46 lots ranging from gift vouchers to tree services to hay to vet products to Brisbane accommodation packages.
On top of the generosity of the many businesses and individuals who donated items and services, most lots went for well-above face value, in a strong spirit of support for the cause.
One quirky offering was the pick of two wrapped boxes, one containing a prize valued at around the $300 and the other a ‘themed’ gift of Weetbix, Nutella, Vegemite and Tim Tams worth around $30. Denis Donnelly won the bidding for the first box for $320 and Laura Lee the second for $370.
Ms Lee got first choice and received the major prize of a two-night stay at the Commercial Boutique Hotel. Mr Donnelly had to be satisfied with his snacks.
100 Club draws, gold coin raffles and entry fees contributed to the total, as did an astounding $1300-plus in wood raffle tickets sold by Peter Chittick in the preceding weeks and at the function. Mr Chittick earns the award for raffle ticket seller of the year, with most people in Tenterfield reaching for the wallet as they see him approach, knowing it will be for a good cause.
Points were tallied on the night from the trivia quizz, although the results seemed unimportant in the wrap-up as everyone joined in the spirit of the occasion and seemed to enjoy themselves. Even though the questions were restricted to ‘Australiana’ there were challenging ones among them.
Although the night didn’t get a surprise visit from the Hay Runner’s Brendan ‘Bumpa’ Farrell, the extraordinary fundraising achievement did get a shoutout on the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners Facebook page.
Mrs Minns said the target was $5000, so she is thrilled that the total could come close to tripling that. Donations can still be made at the branch, and Mrs Minns said people are coming in just to say what a great night they had and ‘job well done’.
“I want to send a big thank you to Tenterfield for its support, and to the staff and other helpers,” she said,
And yes, she would line up to do it all over again.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.