TAMWORTH has shown its true colours, with the community rallying around its farmers to raise more than $40,000 in a one-off concert.
It was a sold out crowd for the RU Aware We Care drought relief concert, with 800 people packing in to Wests Leagues Club on Sunday afternoon.
Along with the ticket sales, there was a telethon manned by Tamworth councillors, and dozens of donation tins circling the crowd, which raised a combined $12,500. An online auction raised $1775.
When country music star and headline act Lee Kernaghan got the call, he didn’t hesitate to say “count me in mate, I’ll be there”.
“When times are tough in the country, country people stick together, and that’s what this whole effort is about,” he said.
“Flying in today, I had a whole new understanding of the severity of the drought. To those farmers out there that are doing it tough, don’t give up, your family is depending on you. You are so important and we need you.”
All the money raised will be distributed by the Salvation Army. Rural chaplains Rusty and Di Lawson have been the organisation’s boots on the ground, and said it was “pretty dire straits” for most farmers.
“We try to help with those unexpected expenses that can be the straw that breaks the camels back,” Mr Lawson said.
“We had that really cold snap last week, and water pipes are bursting, pumps are blowing up, a hot water system split because the water froze. That’s $2500 a farmer has to find to replace his hot water system.
“We’ve been helping with household water, and there’s also a big need for fuel.”
All up, more than $55,000 has been raised for the local drought relief campaign, which is a joint innovative between Tamworth Regional Council, 88.9FM and a slew of local businesses.
Businesses and community groups across the region holding their own fundraising events, raising hundreds and thousands of dollars for the drive.