Tamworth drought: Charities suffer with little community support

STRUGGLING: Tamworth Legacy president Greg Roese said the charity is struggling as a result of the drought. Photo: Peter Hardin
STRUGGLING: Tamworth Legacy president Greg Roese said the charity is struggling as a result of the drought. Photo: Peter Hardin

THE WELL of money for volunteers and charities has dried up as a consequence of the drought.

Tamworth Legacy has cancelled its major Charity Bowls Day fundraiser in light of difficult conditions.

The charity supports the families of deceased or incapacitated Australian Defence Force veterans who gave their lives in service.

We thought it was unfair on the community to try and be supporting us when really our farmers are desperate at this time.

Greg Roese

President Greg Roese said they felt it was wrong to ask for community support during the drought.

“We thought it was unfair on the community to try and be supporting us when really our farmers are desperate at this time,” he said.

“It will impact on the monies we have available to support our widows,” he said.

“We operate social events like bus trips, we’ve got the various functions during the year and we also provide medical subsidies and utilities allowance to assist widows with electricity and gas bills and that obviously will affect how much we can provide for our widows.

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“It’s quite a dramatic side effect of the drought.”

The September event generally raises upward of $5000 for the charity.

This year is the first time Legacy has had to buy drinking water for widows in Boggabri.

And, Legacy isn’t the only local organisation hit hard by troubling conditions.

Serendipity Tamworth supports local cancer patients with fundraisers for better equipment for facilities that treat breast cancer.

President Carolyn Manning said their big fundraiser, Red Bucket Day, isn’t until May but they’re still feeling the pinch.

“We recognise people are finding things difficult and don’t find it right to source money from the community, it’s affected us a little bit like most organisations,” she said.

“We need to continue to get financial support because all of our money is locally raised and goes back into the local community.”

While further abroad, Lions and Rotary Clubs across the nation have been contacting Tamworth branches asking what they can do to help, sending fodder from as far as Western Australia.

Even raffle prizes and sponsorship are becoming harder to come by, Zonta Club president Stephanie Cameron said.

“Times are tough but you have to think about what you’re raising the funds for and the fact the drought is a relevant issue that affects those farmers lives.”

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