THE community has once again demonstrated its generosity in supporting a local cause with Bega Valley Can Assist the most recent beneficiary.
Around $13,500 was raised at a lunch and fundraiser at Oaklands Events Centre on Sunday, which featured former Miss World (1972) and media personality Belinda Green as special guest.
Although now retired, Ms Green has retained a public profile through volunteering for causes she feels passionate about and she continues to share her life experience through the guest speaking circuit.
Her presentation at the function on Sunday was described by many as “fantastic”.
“Belinda was just great, she was so natural and held everybody’s attention throughout her speech,” fundraiser coordinator Dot Holmes said.
The event was not only well supported by the 175 people who attended, but also received generous donations from local business houses, artists and individuals from across the shire.
“Having not run a fundraiser like this before, it was hard to judge how it would go or how much money could be raised,” Ms Holmes said.
“There were 52 items donated for auction, plus a couple of cash donations made on the day and we had the support of Bega Cheese as our major sponsor.”
Also donating their time on the day was auctioneer Guy Higgins and ABC South East Radio’s Ian Campbell as emcee.
“Guy and Ian were very good,” Ms Holmes said.
“Guy stood in at short notice and did an amazing job keeping things light and reminding people why they were there.”
Ms Holmes said many people have already asked if the auction would be held again next year.
“The Can Assist members worked really hard to pull this all together, they are an amazing group of people.
“It was a joy to coordinate it and stressful too, but on the day it all went off beautifully.”
She said the money will be used to assist local people who have been diagnosed with cancer.
Assistance is given for a range of expenses including pharmacy, travel and accommodation costs, chemotherapy tests and household bills.
“Bega Valley Can Assist retains all the funds, money doesn’t have to go to a head office, so what is raised is put back into the community,” Ms Holmes said.