Gladstone shows strong support for drought relief event

DANCIN’ BOOTS ON: Cheryle Hopkins and Jeannie Kleynhans gear up for a drought crisis fundraiser on Saturday.
DANCIN’ BOOTS ON: Cheryle Hopkins and Jeannie Kleynhans gear up for a drought crisis fundraiser on Saturday. Brenda Strong

LOCALS have thrown their support behind a drought relief fundraiser on Saturday, with over $3000 being donated so far and more than half the tickets sold.

Organiser Jeannie Kleynhans said local support for the farm-themed dance night had been excellent, with Boyne Valley and Boyne Island Lions clubs organising a sausage sizzle and bar for the evening and strangers approaching her with offers of help setting up on the night.

"It's farm-themed dress, whether it be a farmer or a cow," she said.

"There will be lots of upbeat music, a sausage sizzle and steak sandwiches, and drinks available.

"There is a featured dance - Waltzing Matilda in a mix of rap."

Funds will go directly to the Queensland Country Women's Association in Ilfracombe, a town near Longreach where people are badly affected by the current drought.

We just want to help people to be able to pay some of their bills.

"They've had no water so they have no stock feed. In order for them to be able to feed their stock, it costs them about $1000 per day, let alone their everyday living," Ms Kleynhans said.

"They're getting no money in but they have all these huge outgoings. Their stock are dying and shooting them and putting them down is heartbreaking."

Ms Kleynhans said she decided to organize a fundraiser after seeing coverage in the news and on Facebook about the drought.

"We just want to help people to be able to pay some of their bills," she said.

"There have been cases of suicide."

Fellow organiser Yvonne Appo and Ms Kleynhans aim to raise $10,000 through the event, which will be held at the Port Curtis Senior Citizens Hall from 6pm-midnight on Saturday.

Call Ms Kleynhans on 0408 893 377 to secure a ticket.



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