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Farmers get a helping hand at glam ball

A GLITTERING night out has seen generous Gladstone people support the farmers doing it tough out west, with organisers confident they've reached their $40,000 fundraising target.

More than 300 guests packed the Gladstone Entertainment Convention Centre for the Buy A Bale Masquerade Ball on Saturday night.

Organiser Sarah Baldwin, who had been planning the event with a group of volunteers since February, said the atmosphere was amazing.

"Everyone was there to have a good time and raise awareness for what the farmers are going through," she said. "I thought everyone did amazingly."

Ms Baldwin said they had sold $1700 of raffle tickets on the night, and Gladstone Cinemas gave the charity $10,374.

"Someone paid a staggering $1400 for a 10kg meat tray in the live auction," she said.

"And we sold an advertising package for TV and radio for $10,000 in the live auction."

Ms Baldwin said farmers had always been close to home for her.

"My father's side were cane growers for three generations outside of Bundaberg," she said.

"As a kid I have fond memories of farming, and I believe if we don't do something active to make it viable they're going to walk off the land.

"They really do need our help at the moment."

Buy a Bale ceo Charles Alder attended the event in thanks from the farmers.

"We still have farmers faced with such drastic measures to keep their families financially afloat and themselves mentally intact," he said.

"This year alone we've moved over 80,000 bales of hay, provided $40,000 of direct financial assistance to cover their groceries, medicines and clothing for their children, and over the next six weeks we'll move another 20,000 bales as the culmination of tonight and the Gympie muster this weekend."

Mel and Bryce Martin said they were out to support the farmers.

"Hopefully our little contribution can make a difference," Mel said. "We're not going to make it rain but any little bit helps."

Cool cat Leonie Andersen said she had a last minute hunt for a mask.

"This is good for Gladstone, but it's also a good charity to raise money for," she said.

Michelle Richardson said she used to live out west.

"I know what they're going through so I'm all for helping them, and I get to go out and dress up," she said.

Topics:  ball, farmers, fundraising, gladstone entertainment centre




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