Dance reaches fundraising target of $10,000 for farmers
SENIOR citizens and members of the wider community donned farm costumes and danced to rockabilly on Saturday night, to raise funds for drought-stricken farmers.
While Gladstone has enjoyed good rain in the past weeks, communities on the other side of the Great Dividing Range have been suffering from the longest drought in Queensland's history.
In March, 79% of the state was considered "drought-affected".
Dance organiser Jeannie Kleynhans, a Gladstone resident, said the event had reached its fundraising target of $10,000.
All of this will go directly to farm families in Ilfracombe, a town near Longreach, to help them survive the drought crisis.
The Country Women's Association in Ilfracombe will distribute the funds.
CWA's Joyce Rogers told the crowd every penny would go directly to farmers there.
"Women and children will come first, then couples," she told the crowd.
"To give you an idea of how bad things are, a mother had to pull her two children out of athletics (competitions) because she couldn't afford the fuel to drive them 45 minutes to town."
Families are breaking up because of the drought, said Ms Rogers.
"Men are having to leave their wives and children to go and work in the mines."
"Children are suffering the worst," she said.
"Some of the girls come in to school and they can't cope. They are in tears. Stock and farm pets have had to be shot, which can devastate children.