TAMWORTH Aero Club is planning to take a coachload of people to Coonabarabran Jockey Club this Saturday to help increase funds raised on race day for victims of the horrendous January bushfires and to provide a morale boost for the community.
The fires destroyed 53 homes and 80 per cent of the Warrumbungle National Park.
Tamworth Aero Club president Adele Mazoudier said it was important that the district showed its support for the Coonabarabran Bushfire Appeal race meeting.
“I just know how I would feel if I was in their situation at Coonabarabran,” Ms Mazoudier said.
“We’re also looking for frost-resistant plants to help some people re-plant their gardens – which we can take over on the bus.”
Coonabarabran Jockey Club secretary Jodi Cormie was moved by the aero club’s gesture.
“God love them – it’s very overwhelming, this ... it really gives you faith in humanity,” Mrs Cormie said.
She said the fires had destroyed all the walking tracks in the national park, the famous woolshed and the visitor information centre.
It had also nearly destroyed the Coonabarabran racetrack and the town, too, she said.
“It nearly did – if the wind hadn’t changed it would have gone – Coonabarabran would have gone as well,” she said.
The focus for the six-race TAB meeting will be to raise funds for families affected by the recent bushfires, with affected families to be guests of the jockey club for the day.
An auction will be held and the meeting will be broadcast on Sky 2.
“Even if you’re not into racing, you’ll have a great day out – you can sit under a tree, sip and feel good, knowing you are making a
difference,” Ms Mazoudier said.
People from BlazeAid had arrived in Coonabarabran to get fencing under way, Mrs Cormie said.
They’d be there for at least five to six months, she said.
Rotary in Dubbo had contributed $8000 and was sending over a minivan full of people.
Mrs Cormie said some amazing prizes had been offered for the auction.
A holiday park owner in Batemans Bay had offered a week-long holiday.
“Someone rang us from Tamworth offering shares in a horse for the auction,” Mrs Cormie said.
Dunedoo plumber Paul Friend had donated a day with top horse trainer Gai Waterhouse.
Gates open at 11am.