COVID slows but doesn't defeat Haddington fundraising efforts

(From left) Perry Condrick, original TCC committee members Barbara Fraser, Col Mann and Graham Rossington, Greg Sauer, Rhonda Rovera and special guest speaker Scott Draper at TCC's last big fundraiser in 2018.
(From left) Perry Condrick, original TCC committee members Barbara Fraser, Col Mann and Graham Rossington, Greg Sauer, Rhonda Rovera and special guest speaker Scott Draper at TCC's last big fundraiser in 2018.

As head of the Tenterfield Care Centre's fundraising committee Rhonda Rovera's fundraising ideas for the new Haddington wing have taken a hit in a climate of COVID-19, hot on the heels of drought and bushfires.

Plans to bring back the Highland Fling New Year's Eve party have been put on hold and Mrs Rovera is reticent to even hold street stalls to ask people to put their hands in their pocket, appreciating the financial stress that so many are under.

As such, fundraising activities are being dampened this year with hopes of picking up the pace if the situation improves in 2021.

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One innovative way people can support the aged care facility today, however, is by saving their recyclable bottles and feeding them through the Return-and-Earn machine behind Tenterfield Pool, and opt to donate the proceeds to Tenterfield Care Centre at the selection screen.

Mrs Rovera said people can support the cause without it hurting too much, and as a community-owned facility (along with Millrace) it's important that they do so.

Back in the late 1990's fundraising activities were intense, including the auctioning off of donated beasts, concerts, dances and barbecues, the Federation Festival incorporating charity queens, a St Paddy's Day concert featuring local talent, and even the bequeathing of property. Mrs Rovera said it was a lot of work but it was amazing how people got behind the initiatives.

Tenterfield Care Centre chair Greg Sauer at the Return & Earn reverse vending machine. Donations so far have been slow.

Tenterfield Care Centre chair Greg Sauer at the Return & Earn reverse vending machine. Donations so far have been slow.

She said it was a different climate back then but the need to support Haddington and Millrace has to be put before the community, lest they are lost.

"These are community-owned facilities, and we don't want that to change," Mrs Rovera said.

She said the lack of fundraising activities isn't hampering progress of the new wing project, although COVID is restricting the movement of contractors around the site with non-essential works being postponed.

"Hopefully we'll be in a better position next year," Mrs Rovera said.

With an ageing population and already 25 potential new residents on the waiting list to join one of TCC's facilities, allowing them to live out their lives in their community, the need for expansion is pressing.

TCC has a goal of raising $25,000 over the course of the six months that it's a donation partner at the Return-and-Earn. In the first month of the arrangement only $50 has been donated, a 'slow uptake' as Mrs Rovera puts kindly.

The recycling option is a relatively painless way to support a local facility that we or a loved one may well need in the future, so it's in all our best interests to get on board and start saving bottles.