While Toad Heffernan and Mandy Stone have finished their time on House Rules, they have stepped back into the public eye to support a worthy cause.
Since they won the popular television show they have been adjusting to life back in Candelo, enjoying time with their children and getting used to their celebrity status.
“I think Toad’s always been a celebrity here in the Bega Valley! A lot of people know Toad and his family,” Mandy said.
“Everyone has been very kind to us, not really hassling us or anything just a lot of congratulations, so thank you guys! Don’t be afraid to say hi, because we’re just normal people and we will say hi back. We don’t really see ourselves as celebrities, just as very lucky.”
On Friday, Toad and Mandy helped raised funds for the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners at a barbecue in Bega hosted by the Commonwealth Bank Bega and Bega Rotary Club.
The $6000 raised from the barbecue and other efforts of the Commonwealth Bank were to be used to purchase hay and fuel the trucks transporting it across NSW, and it is a cause that resonates with the couple, who are themselves dairy farmers.
Toad said they had been “sort of thrown in the deep end”, after being away for so long and coming home to no rain and no feed, and NSW being 100 per cent in drought was “no laughing matter”.
“At this point in time it’s really tough,” he said.
“We’re hunting for feed, we’ve still got a bit of water. But as far as it goes trying to buy hay and grain and everything is near on impossible.”
He said if you did manage to find some, it was nearly unaffordable so you would end up losing money to feed your cows.
“But we know there’s other farmers that are doing it way worse,” Mandy said.
Her partner agreed, saying he thought they were lucky to live in the Bega Valley and he knew the drought would eventually break.
“Every good drought ends in rain,” he said.
The couple plans to hold their wedding next year.
“Hopefully it’s rained by then and we can afford to have a decent honeymoon,” Toad said.