IT’S the incredible generosity of the community that have kept local charity Where there’s A Will focussed on their vision – to develop mentally healthy schools within the Upper Hunter.
And, three months into 2018, the support couldn’t be more alive.
On Tuesday three local groups handed over just shy of $40,000 worth of donations from fundraising events they had held in the past six months.
February’s Belltrees versus Rouchel charity match at Belltrees Cricket Ground raised an amazing $35,000, with all of that going back into positive education for the community.
But it wasn’t just the cricketing community that gathered at the Bill Rose Sports Complex on Tuesday.
A cheque for $2,500 was handed over by the Rouchel Charity Cattle Dog Trial committee from events in December and June last year.
Rouchel Dog Trials Secretary and Treasurer Wade Miles said the organisation normally gives back to charities such as the Westpac Rescue Helicopter and the Cancer Council.
“Our last event was the first time we had supported Where there’s A Will with the money raised through entry fees and canteen profits,” he said.
“It was excellent, we were very well supported.
“We decided to support the charity because Nick [committee president] and I were both mates with Will through the event and it had such an effect on the local community.”
If that weren’t proof enough of the community’s generosity, the Scone Bucking Bull Association’s Scott Burns was also on hand to present a $1,500 donation from their event held in April 2017.
Mr Burns said the committee has supported Where there’s A Will since the charity was formed, as Will was a committee member himself.
“It’s a cracking day, everybody comes down and even though we are a small committee it’s a great event,” he said.
But, like the Scone Charity Rodeo, rodeo-goers will have to hang in until later in the year to enjoy the event.
“Unfortunately our event has to be postponed this year due to the ongoing construction of White Park,” Mr Burns said.
The Scone Bucking Bull Association will now look at running the 2018 Scone Bull Futurity, Derby and Classic in combination with the Scone Charity Rodeo in the second half of the year.
With construction on White Park commencing, it is expected to be completed in August 2018.
Where there’s A Will’s Pauline Carrigan said the support would keep them focussed on important upcoming projects such as mental health first aid training and the Visible Wellbeing programme that is being rolled out in 16 Upper Hunter schools.
“These are all really great family days out,” she said.
“And they’re serving two purposes – one is encouraging conversation and two is the funding element.
“When we get this money we don’t run out and spend it, the actual foundations are in place and the plans are down as how it’s going to work.
“And every time we get a donation like this it actually brings it a bit further forward because instead of being off in six months we can do it next week.”