Venetian Carnival winner gives prize to Salvation Army Christmas appeal

Generous: Captain Robert Mills, Matthew Verri and Alex Rainger with the anonymous local's donation.
Generous: Captain Robert Mills, Matthew Verri and Alex Rainger with the anonymous local's donation.

A mystery winner of around $800 in toys and gifts has passed their good fortune onto struggling families this Christmas.

The unnamed local who bought the first prize-winning ticket in Inverell Apex Club’s Venetian Carnival raffle told the seller to donate any winnings to the local Salvation Army Christmas appeal.

“We were all over the moon really. We were all surprised, humbled,” club president Alex Rainger said.

“That one ticket is definitely going to go far and wide.”

“It’s just fantastic how many families this is going to be able to help out. Just magical,” Matthew Verri added.

Salvation Army Captain Robert Mills said the giant stocking of gifts would make a difference for many.

“(The anonymous donor) couldn’t grasp how much I thank them in regards to the families who pick out these toys,” he said. 

“When parents get this sort of quality, they actually cheer up and get emotional because they’re really doing things tough and it’s not just something simple from the dollar shop.”

“If their aim was to spread Christmas joy, they’ve done a good job with that.”

He said that there were many reasons locals might struggle through the holiday season, such as dealing with the loss of a loved one, financial strain or being alone during Christmas.

“Overall it’s our prayer that people are able to find a space where they can get together with other people.”

Mr Rainger invited 18-45 year olds to learn more about Inverell Apex through their Facebook page, and consider joining.

With the annual Salvation Army Toy Run on this Saturday at 10am, locals can donate more gifts at FDB’s, Ditton’s Wade St Store, Imperial Hotel and Inverell Motorcycles prior to the event.