Due to the record attendance of about 240 people (about 60 more than normal) just under $7,000 was raised at our Trivia Night on 25th August 2108 and all of it has now been donated to assist with drought relief. All expenses associated with the Trivia Night were covered by the Club, which has also rounded the proceeds up to $7,000.
An additional $10,000 has been donated by an anonymous donor, so we had $17,000 to assist farmers. To ensure that all the money goes directly to distressed families, the proceeds from the night has been given to the Rotary Club of Coonabarabran (Rotary District 9650) to assist them with their Drought Relief work.
The Coonabarabran club President, Jo Wilkin, was delighted with our decision as her club is very proactive supporting farmers with numerous projects, including the distribution of pre-paid Visa Cards and food hampers to farmers whom they know are doing it tough. They have identified many more who would benefit from similar support. The visa cards are likely to be spent in the local community on some life-luxuries to help with farmer’s well being and so are also a way to share the money within the local community as equitably as possible. Further details at:
Progress Report On Coonabarabran Rotary's Drought Relief Program
Coonabarabran Rotary PO Box 265 Coonabarabran NSW 2357
Rotary Club of West Pennant Hills / Cherrybrook PO Box 103W, West Pennant Hills NSW 2125
19 October 2018
Progress report on Coonabarabran Rotary’s Drought Relief Program
Dear President Colin and members,
It is high time we reported back to you about how the drought relief program to which you so generously contributed, has progressed. It began with what we called a ‘Drought Catch Up’ evening on Friday 10 August designed to provide some company and relief for those who had been totally tied to their farms for many months. Two hundred people attended. $6,200 (given in donations to the club principally through two people) was distributed in Visa cards of $100 each to 62 families, along with hampers and sundry items. There were many door prizes of wine and small gifts. Music was provided by a local band and people enjoyed the event. We expected this would be the extent of our drought initiative.
However, in response to receiving donations from Rotary clubs such as your’s and individuals, we then established a Drought Relief Fund. There was much discussion about how best to distribute the money raised and donated, to make sure it reached those most affected. It was decided to use a similar program that we adopted in 2013 when fires destroyed over 50 homes around our town.
This has been the main component of our drought relief program: - Applicants (farmers, small business owners, those employed in drought affected rural occupations) have been invited to apply for up to $1,000 based on receipts or invoices for farm goods, household expenses etc. To date, all applicants have been farmers, except for one small business owner.
A committee of five members was formed to consider applications. Three of the five had detailed and long-standing knowledge of the local farming community.
Until now we have distributed a total of $53,475 to 54 applicants. In addition, we have this week received another 13 applications, yet to be considered, requesting a total of $11,945.
An analysis of the receipts submitted with applications has shown the following:
76% of receipts have been for stock feed and feed supplements
11% of receipts were for farm items and mechanical costs
The rest (13%) were … in order … for shire rates, power, medical/dental costs, vehicle registration, Telstra and household costs.
Applications are continuing to arrive.
2. A second component of the program has been the distribution of 108 x 20kg bags of forage sorghum seed sent to us by Pacific Seeds. The little bit of rain in the area has been timely.
3. A third component has been the lamb jumpers project started ‘accidentally’ by Marie Knight. Over 20,000 jumpers have been knitted and delivered, sorted and distributed, helped by Rotarians and CWA ladies. We are now packing away the remaining jumpers ready for next year. There have been countless heartfelt expressions of support accompanying the jumpers from knitters all over Australia who were really glad to be a part of this project. It has been a marvellous ‘community building’ exercise.
4. We are planning another ‘Drought Catch Up’ evening for Friday 23 November
The recent rain has helped boost morale and people’s spirits. It has been variable with some farms receiving useful falls and some all but missing out. At least it has indicated a change in the weather pattern. It is estimated that it will be another 18 months before we can expect recovery.
Thank you so much for your support for this farming community. You have certainly done your bit and we are very grateful! We look forward to continuing whatever we can do to keep farms and the town businesses viable until the season breaks completely.
Best wishes to everyone,
Jo Wilkin President Coonabarabran Rotary
WPH & Cherrybrook Rotary's Trip To Coonabarabran - 1st September 2018
On Saturday 1st September a group of our club members travelled to Coonabarabran and at the Coonabarabran Rotary Club's meeting on Monday 3rd, our Club President, Colin Sharpe, presented Jo Wilken with a certificate indicating the donation of the $17,000 to their club's drought relief program.
Below are photos from the trip to Coonabarabran and also from the club meeting on the Monday evening.
To see photos taken by the Coonabarabran Rotary club members on their website click HERE
Meeting With Coonabarabran Rotary Club Monday 3rd September (Andrew Little)
Sunday 2nd September - Sandstone Caves - 35 Km north Of Coonabarabran, Lunch At Piliga Pottery & Dinner At Chinese Restaurant (Colin Sharpe, Gino Savio, Jo Wilken, Desley Little & Andrew Little)
Sunday 2nd September - Lunch At Piliga Pottery (Andrew Little)