Big­ger and bet­ter than ever

Western Times - - NEWS - Molly Han­cock Molly.Han­cock@west­ern­starnews.com

CHARLEVILLE is pre­par­ing for one of the most an­tic­i­pated nights of the year, the Royal Fly­ing Doc­tor Ser­vice Ball.

Now in its fourth year, or­gan­iser and RFDS flight nurse Court­ney Bylett said the fundrais­ing event had grown more than she ever imag­ined when she or­gan­ised her first ball four years ago.

“I look back now at the first ball we did and can’t be­lieve how quickly it has grown,” Ms Bylett said.

“It’s such a good thing and I am amazed by how well the com­mu­nity has sup­ported it.

“It’s an ex­cuse for ev­ery­one to get dressed up and en­joy the night.”

This year ticket sales in­creased from 280 to 350 and sold out in an im­pres­sive four and a half hours, the quick­est time to date.

Ms Bylett said the night was not only about the RFDS, but also about the com­mu­nity.

The evening will in­clude a va­ri­ety of lo­cally sourced prod­ucts, busi­nesses and en­ter­tain­ment.

“In lo­cal busi­nesses alone we have raised $19,000 which is ab­so­lutely ex­traor­di­nary.

“This year we are hop­ing to push $30,000, but we will see how we go.

“Over the past three years we have raised around $20,000 each year, so about $60,000 all up,” Ms Bylett said.

En­ter­tain­ment this year is from lo­cal band Dou­ble Flan­nell, with the lead gui­tarist be­ing one of the RFDS pi­lots.

“The grog is from the Cat­tle Camp, Leith Bren­nan is cater­ing and all of the equip­ment is from ASA Hire,” she said.

“The event brings so much life to the town for the week­end as it fills ho­tels, hair­dressers, makeup artists and shops get more busi­ness over the week­end.

“It not only ben­e­fits the RFDS, but our whole com­mu­nity.”

This year also marks the 90th birth­day of the RFDS and the 75th an­niver­sary for the Charleville Base – more of an ex­cuse for a ball, Ms Bylett said.

Auc­tion items in­clude:

■ Signed 100th an­niver­sary game 2014 signed Qld State of Ori­gin jer­sey – do­nated by Sun­corp.

■ Orig­i­nal art pieces – do­nated by lo­cal artist Karen Mayo.

■ Leather hand­bag and wal­let – do­nated by He­len and Tom Rosenow of Pa­roo Patch, Eulo.

■ Black and white cowhide – do­nated by the Han­d­ley Fam­ily.

■ Model KingAir B200 air­craft – do­nated by RFDS Charleville.

■ Framed art pieces – do­nated by He­len Mor­ris.

■ Front page of the Western Times – do­nated by Western Times.

■ Bul­loo built Frame – do­nated by Deb of Bul­loo built in Thar­go­min­dah.

■ Patch­work quilt made from the Charleville Crew Jeans – made by RFDS flight nurse Di Dowrick.

PHOTO: SARAH DIONYSIUS

HAV­ING A BALL: Around 250 peo­ple packed into the RFDS Charleville base han­gar last year for the an­nual RFDS Ball.

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