A RECORD sum has been raised through the sale of the iconic Toyota wide-brimmed straw hats and limited-edition pins at this year's Tamworth Country Music Festival.
Thousands of fans flocked to the Toyota Zone to purchase the merchandise, raising a whopping $56,441.
All proceeds this year go to the Tamworth Aboriginal Medical Service.
The record amount came from the sale of the iconic Toyota wide-brimmed straw hats that were available at the Toyota Zone throughout the Festival for a gold coin donation, as well as limited edition pins for a $5 donation, which marked the Toyota Country Music Festival's 50th Anniversary.
Toyota has been a proud supporter of the Festival for 30 years, with the hat sales initiative becoming an institution as a long-running fundraiser at the annual event.
All proceeds from the sale of the hats and pins go to TAMS, which provides culturally appropriate preventive primary health care services for the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal community of Tamworth and surrounding districts.
TAMS CEO Damion Brown said it's been heart-warming to see so many country music fans supporting TAMS and contributing to the services that we provide to the local community.
"The donations by the country music community for the Toyota hats and pins will provide essential resources that assist in TAMS educating our patients throughout their health journey."
"Support from companies like Toyota and the Tamworth Festival community is vital in enabling us to continue providing essential health care services in this region."
Toyota Australia Chief Marketing Officer Vin Naidoo thanked patrons for their generosity in breaking the fund-raising record at this year's celebration of country music in Tamworth, despite it being moved from January to April and shortened from ten to seven days due to COVID.
"This was an incredible response from country music fans and the wider Tamworth community - one we couldn't have achieved without the support of TCMF organisers and the many volunteers who sold the hats and pins throughout the Festival," Mr Naidoo said.
"We are proud to be able to support the dedicated work by the remarkable team at TAMS who provide primary health care of the highest standards across the Tamworth region and, in particular, to assist in achieving their vision of closing the gaps in Aboriginal health."
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