Event to help Ta­tong farmer

Benalla Ensign - - News - By Si­mon Rup­pert

When Ta­tong farmer Pete Smith suf­fered a sig­nif­i­cant in­jury, tem­po­rar­ily con­fin­ing him to a wheel­chair, the fam­ily dairy busi­ness had to keep op­er­at­ing.

While it has been dif­fi­cult, he and his wife Beth have been forced to make it work, or risk los­ing ev­ery­thing.

Be­nalla Ru­ral City Coun­cil out­reach worker Ivan Lis­ter knows the fam­ily well and de­cided to rally the com­mu­nity to get be­hind them and raise funds to help.

‘‘Their main bread win­ner is no longer able to work,’’ Mr lis­ter said.

‘‘They have a dairy farm and it runs all night and all day, they have young chil­dren, too.

‘‘So after some dis­cus­sion be­tween me and other lo­cal farm­ers we de­cided to put on a fundraiser for the Smiths.

‘‘We usu­ally run some kind of func­tion in one of the small com­mu­ni­ties in Be­nalla to keep peo­ple to­gether and keep peo­ple talk­ing to each other.

‘‘We were about to or­gan­ise one, then Pete had the ac­ci­dent, so we de­cided to put the two to­gether and make it about sup­port­ing the Smith fam­ily.’’

Mr Lis­ter formed a com­mit­tee of five lo­cal peo­ple who ar­ranged the Ta­tong Dance and So­cial, which will take place on Oc­to­ber 20 at 7.30 pm.

Lo­cal band Couch­grass will pro­vide the en­ter­tain­ment at the event, which is to be held at the Ta­tong Hall.

Act­ing Mayor Peter Davis said Pete was still in the wheel­chair and even when he was out, it would be sev­eral months be­fore he could start walk­ing.

‘‘Farm­ing is such a phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity, and if a farmer gets hurt the farm doesn’t stop,’’ Cr Davis said.

‘‘The Be­nalla com­mu­nity are al­ways be­hind sup­port­ing peo­ple in need. Un­for­tu­nately over the years we’ve had floods, fires, droughts and ac­ci­dents.

‘‘But the com­mu­nity have al­ways pulled to­gether, at the event but also in re­cov­ery.’’

En­try to the event is $15 per per­son, or $35 per fam­ily, with tick­ets avail­able at the door. BYO drinks and a plate of sup­per to share.

● If you can­not at­tend, but would still like to make a do­na­tion to the fam­ily you can phone Ivan Lis­ter on 0474 501 406.

Ivan Lis­ter

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