IT WAS supposed to be a generous donation to the clinic helping Nev Parnell fight a deadly cancer, but the proceeds of a charity fundraiser are missing, six weeks on from the event.
Friends began rallying around the local country music identity as he began chemotherapy at the North West Cancer Clinic earlier this year.
When he refused to take any donations, he insisted on fundraising for the very people who look after him.
Yet, six weeks after a Tamworth benefit concert, there’s been no cheque handed over – and the finger is being pointed squarely at event organiser Stephen Bunz.
“It’s a bit embarrassing for me when I have no money to give them,” Mr Parnell said.
Mr Parnell’s friends organised the concert in Blazes at West Tamworth League Club on September 15.
Declared a roaring success, friends, family, musicians and even strangers kicked in to raise more than $7000. After costs were taken out more than $6000 was meant for the Cancer Centre, but Wests’ boss Rod Laing said only $538 had been handed over. “We’re seriously concerned the money hasn’t been paid,” Mr Laing said yesterday. “It’s frustrating and the delay has raised serious concerns on the money’s whereabouts.”
Following the fundraiser, the funds were transferred into Mr Bunz’s account.
After six weeks, Mr Laing fears they might not see the money. “It’s a very sad state of affairs,” he said.
For Mr Parnell, it’s personal.
“Everyone who bought at the auction or bought a raffle ticket ... they all lost their money,” he said. “He’s let all the people down. People are just disgraced, especially when the money was going to a cancer centre.”
Mr Laing and Mr Parnell took their matter to Tamworth police, who yesterday confirmed the complaint was under investigation.
But the man in question denies he’s been holding out – instead he said he’s been targeted.
“I’m a little perplexed about the whole situation,” Mr Bunz said from Queensland yesterday.
Mr Bunz said he was mistakenly paid by Wests and has since been caught up in administrative errors.
“The last thing I would do is hurt my friend of over 30 years; I would never do that. The money will be paid on Monday,” Mr Bunz said.