A big name for a big day

AFL great Kevin Sheedy dropped into Rochester to help lift the spir­its of the re­gion’s farm­ers. He was the guest at the Farm­ers’ Big Day Out, a char­ity event aimed at get­ting farm­ers off their land for a re­lax­ing af­ter­noon.

Campaspe News - - FRONT PAGE -

LEG­ENDARY AFL coach Kevin Sheedy brought the star power to Rochester’s Dairy Farmer’s Big Day Out event last Sun­day.

But the he­roes of the day were or­gan­is­ers from St Vin­cent de Paul So­ci­ety, REDHS and Rochester Busi­ness Net­work.

The three groups pulled to­gether to host a stel­lar day for dairy farm­ers in the re­gion, many of whom are go­ing through tough times fol­low­ing the milk price drop ear­lier this year.

More than 175 peo­ple spent their Sun­day at Rochester Race­course Re­cre­ation Re­serve — tak­ing ad­van­tage of the show­bags, lunch, en­ter­tain­ment and even golf.

‘‘It was fan­tas­tic,’’ St Vin­nies pres­i­dent Gavin Houli­han said.

‘‘To see all those peo­ple there just hav­ing some time out to en­joy their day, bond with their kids and neigh­bours and for­get about their wor­ries was re­ward­ing. ‘‘What a suc­cess.’’ Alan Dar­byshire from the RBN said the day ex­em­pli­fied the char­ac­ter of this com­mu­nity.

‘‘Look what hap­pens when you come and work to­gether, this is cer­tainly the event I am most proud to be a part of this year,’’ he said. ‘‘The best day in a long time.’’ St Vin­nies pro­vided show­bags to ev­ery guest with lucky draw tick­ets and a spe­cial gift voucher that will be dis­trib­uted to farm­ers who could not at­tend.

Scores of vol­un­teers and their fam­i­lies spent hours set­ting up, serv­ing, and mak­ing all feel wel­come while Hed­ley Moon and the Rochester Lions pro­vided lunch and the hit of the day — fairy floss.

Kevin Sheedy and Kevin Shin­ners both shared their sto­ries of liv­ing in the AFL world, snap­ping shots with ex­cited fans and sign­ing books.

Jam Events from El­more pro­vided games for the many chil­dren who at­tended and their time.

RBN pulled to­gether to pro­duce plenty of lucky draw prizes while golf tragic, Rod McAsey con­ducted the near­est the pin events. (The re­sults were: first event, win­ner, Oliver McMinn, run­ner-up, James Brent­nall. Sec­ond event, win­ner Col Pearse, run­ner-up Oliver McMinn. Each win­ner re­ceived a gift voucher for Rochester Dis­counts.)

Na­tion­als politi­cians Damien Drum and Peter Walsh do­nated a framed foot­ball mem­o­ra­bilia paint­ing and spent hours chat­ting with farm­ers and their fam­i­lies while lo­cal mu­si­cian Mick Te­nace kept the tunes go­ing through­out the day.

Busi­nesses through­out the re­gion con­trib­uted to the event, in­clud­ing Bruce Hock­ing Mo­tors, Kits Kafe, Ma­jors IGA, Paul Evans Weld­ing, PJ Plumb­ing and Ray White.

‘‘We are sin­cerely grate­ful to ev­ery­one who made this day such a suc­cess,’’ Mr Houli­han said.

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