All proceeds from Rotary’s monster street stall on Thursday, August 23 in front of Bruxner Park from 8am will go to help local farmers battling the drought and, indirectly, the town at large.
The club’s Harry Bolton said Rotary will pass on the money raised to Joel Soper at the Salvation Army, who already has programs in place to support those in need.
Rotary will also be loading up Why Leave Town cards – probably to the value of $100 – to distribute, again through the Salvos. With rainwater tanks on rural properties running dry, Mr Bolton said Rotary is also keen to finance deliveries of drinking water.
There will be process to record recipients of the support, confidentially, to ensure the funds are going to the right place.
The club had earlier planned to contribute proceeds to the Rotary District drought fund, but with the fund well-subscribed (to the tune of around $35,000) and in the process of winding up as national programs gear up, it was thought a more-local focus was preferable.
“The Why Leave Town cards can be used at the Produce, Foodworks, fuel outlets and lots of places, so all the money stays in town,” Mr Bolton said.
“It will help support local businesses, who are also starting to feel the impact of the drought.”
He is concerned that desperation levels may ramp up quickly.
If we don’t get a break by October, November or December, we’ll be in a lot of strife by Christmas.Harry Bolton, Rotary Club of Tenterfield
“If we don’t get a break by October, November or December, we’ll be in a lot of strife by Christmas,” he said.
The club will be keeping a close eye on the situation, possibly considering relief initiatives like a Christmas function for farming families or even offering homestay holidays for children from the land. In the past Rotary has sponsored Gold Coast holidays for children from Coonabarabran, complete with cinema experiences courtesy of Hoyts and theme park visits.
In the meantime, the club needs as much support as it can get at Thursday’s street stall, from buyers and donors alike. Coordinator Peter Chittick said donations of baking, plants, books and any other saleable items will be much appreciated, and all donations are tax deductible. Just bring them along to the stall.
A timely two-tonne load of firewood is the major raffle prize. Tickets will be on sale at the street stall and again on Saturday in front of Coles, where the winner will be drawn.