Unprecedented crowds turn out in Medowie to raise funds for Farmers Medowie & Tilligerry News Of The Area Medowie, Ferodale, Campvale Photo Gallery by News Of The Area - Modern Media - August 15, 2018August 15, 2018 The organisers of Medowie’s Bale Out The Drought, Ben Niland and Cr Chris Doohan. WITH most of the State experiencing the worst drought in decades, Port Stephens residents came out in their thousands to support the “Bale Out The Drought” fundraiser on Sunday at Medowie. Modern Media: Advertise with News Of The Area and you get your ad in 1) in Print, 2) on the News Website (like this ad), and 3) on our Social Media news site. A much more efficient way to advertise. Reach a HUGE audience for a LOW price TODAY! Call us on 02 4983 2134. Or firstname.lastname@example.org Or CLICK FOR ADVERT QUOTE With a monster raffle on offer, an auction of quality goods, face painters, shearing demonstration, animal exhibition, Rural Fire Service display, vintage and classic car show, and the all important coffee van, those in attendance were not disappointed. The total prize pool was estimated to be over $12 500, donated by local businesses and individuals to support drought stricken farmers. Hosted by Medowie’s Bull ‘n’ Bush hotel, and primarily organised by Ben Niland and Deputy Mayor Cr Chris Doohan, the establishment was overwhelmed with customers throughout the day, with the event attracting more than anticipated numbers. Cr Doohan told News Of The Area, “Ben and I couldn’t be prouder of the amazing effort of our incredible town.” “We had three boxes to tick in this four week campaign; to make as much money to help the farmers as we could, to bring our town together and show the strength of the Medowie community spirit, and to raise awareness of this crisis.” “All three were totally exceeded,” he said. “Medowie, you are awesome.” The event raised over $70 000. Attendees at the event were generous with their purchasing of goods on the day, with event shirts, coolers and hats running out the door. Raffle tickets were purchased in large quantities, and many in the crowd were moved by a number of auction winners who drove the price up to win their chosen items, only to turn around after paying for their item and donate it back to be auctioned again for even more funds. Mr Gary Bentley, representing Rural Aid and also a counsellor for the charity told News Of The Area, “Rural Aid is a charity that’s been going for several year.” “It started out as the Buy-a-Bale initiative.” “As the drought got worse, we realised we needed to provide support for those going through mental distress” My Bentley, who is based in Cessnock also said, “There are four counsellors in the Hunter Valley.” “This region was the trial area for counsellors.” “We have been flooded with people needing assistance.” Latest figures available from The Department of Primary Industries, show that 99.9% of NSW is either Drought Affected, experiencing Drought, or is in Intense Drought. Only 0.1% of the entire State is in Recovering with 0% of the State in a Non Drought status. The need for farming relief is real and present. While there is government funding and other initiatives available to help farmers, everyday people are also finding ways to help their country cousins. Rural Aid, with the motto, Supporting Rural Communities, is always looking for donations and volunteers to support their expanding work. With seven different programs running and over 6000 volunteers, help is always appreciated. More information can be found at ruralaid.org.au By Heather SHARP & Rachael VAUGHAN The White Family of Medowie enjoyed the special day. Grace and Amara got right into the festivities. (left) Oscar O’Neill had a blast trying all sorts of new things. (right) Kate Washington MP and her family participated in the festivities. Kate is also part of Medowie Netball Club, who donated $1 for every goal last weekend. The Paterson family from Medowie Family and Sports Physio who donated generously to the appeal from their business. (left) Stevie Wilkinson and her son Alexander enjoyed the day out for a wonderful cause. (right) Aisha, Xavier and Tahlia had a blast at the event. Bill Taylor and Cr Chris Doohan. Cr Chris Doohan and Louise Muir in their Medowie Bales Out The Drought shirts. (left) Lily Kilday, 5, enjoyed getting into the activities at the event. (right) Michael Kilday, 6, transformed for the event and thoroughly enjoyed the day. (left) Family watching the sheep shearing and enjoying the festivities. (right) James enjoyed his play in the big fire truck. Medowie Rural Fire Service were on hand to chat with locals, before having to leave for a call out later in the afternoon. Drew Shearman of Shearman Livestock and Contracting shows the crowd how to shear a sheep. Jaxon and Lucas enjoyed the petting zoo. (left) Children enjoyed being able to use the fire truck simulator. (right) Port Stephens FM radio broadcast live from the event. (left) Tahlia and Xavier enjoying some down time. (right) The event merchandise was huge hit on the day. James Hough from Dowling Medowie and Ben Niland, manning the raffle ticket booth. A young lass donating money to the rural aid collection tins. The Alpaca’s and calves were a hit with the children. The classic cars drew large crowds of admirers. There was a small collection of classic cars for attendees to view. A mini car show at the event was popular with attendees. The crowds outside were steady all day. Medowie’s Bull n Bush Hotel was packed from wall to wall inside where the raffles, auctions, live music and cold beverages were housed. Paula and Owen were the first live performance to entertain the large crowd. Every square inch of Medowie’s Bull n Bush Hotel was covered in supporters of this wonderful cause.