Band of eager volunteers plan a fundraiser for life-supporting services

ALL TOGETHER: Volunteer Deb Ross (front right) hosted the first planning meeting for the fundraiser at her cafe last Friday.
ALL TOGETHER: Volunteer Deb Ross (front right) hosted the first planning meeting for the fundraiser at her cafe last Friday.

A crowd of volunteers have banded together, and found each other in their effort to support two causes which aid life in the mind and body.

The Westpac Rescue Helicopter and Beyond Blue are destined to receive the proceeds from an April 2 fundraiser at Deb’s Place Cafe, across from the Inverell Post Office. 

From 8.30am, a crew will be behind the counter serving up an all day brunch with a choice of eggs, sausages, bacon, onions and toast.

The $10 per adults and $7 child’s serving will be accompanied by entertainment from local musicians Alex Munro, Jemima McLachlan, and Fat Maria and the Allan Boy. There will be prizes and fundraising activities.

All of a sudden it’s turned into Ben Hur!

Rob Beaney

Cafe owner Deb Ross, Rob Beaney and Barry Simpson conceived the idea almost accidentally.

“The whole thing sort of originated about 10 days ago, when Deb and I and Barry sort of mentioned, ‘Oh, let’s have a barbecue on Sunday’ -that type of thing, and then it was, ‘Well, let’s do a fundraiser’, and that’s how it started,” he said with a smile. 

“And all of a sudden it’s turned into Ben Hur!”

Deb said the Westpac chopper and Beyond Blue were chosen as two worthy charities, providing a free service, and benefiting people across the district. 

Though Beyond Blue does not have an Inverell presence, she felt it gave widespread support. 

“I think everybody has got somebody in their family, or a friend, who has a mental illness,” she said. 

Rob said he has experience with the support service, and felt it was very helpful.

“You can just go online and look up all sorts of information, of mental issues,” he said. “It can be a good starting point for somebody who’s trying to get better, or get themselves out of the dark.” 

STA-FM acting president Peter Jarrett is another group volunteer, and said Westpac offered a tangible presence, but with several families and friends hit hard with suicides in the Inverell area, he felt supporting a service like Beyond Blue provided a step for people seeking free, available assistance.

“Now, it’s not directly locally based, but it’s one of the ones who do provide critical support in the Inverell area,” he said.