Vol­un­teers man grills for com­mu­nity fundraiser

Southern Riverina news - - NEWS -

More than 9000 sausages, 5000 rolls and 3800 bags of ice were sold by the com­mu­nity bar­be­cue to the thou­sands of peo­ple at Straw­berry Fields Mu­sic Fes­ti­val.

For the first time Straw­berry Fields Mu­sic Fes­ti­val di­rec­tors al­lowed lo­cal com­mu­nity groups to fundraise at the event by run­ning a bar­be­cue called Chillin’ n Grillin’.

It was run by Tocumwal Cham­ber of Com­merce, who en­listed help from Fin­ley Cham­ber of Com­merce and the Ber­ri­gan War Me­mo­rial Pool com­mit­tee. All three will share the money made from the bar­be­cue, which was still be col­lated yes­ter­day.

About 80 peo­ple vol­un­teered over the four day event, each work­ing for a min­i­mum of eight hours.

With a free fes­ti­val ticket of­fered in re­turn for their ef­forts, the in­cen­tive even drew the eye of three Mel­bourne lads, who de­spite hav­ing no con­nec­tion to Tocumwal thought it would be a good chance to do their part for the lo­cal com­mu­nity plus snare a free ticket.

Chillin’ n Grillin’ made it easy with sausages in bread, ba­con and egg rolls and ham­burg­ers avail­able in ad­di­tion to bags of ice and soft drinks.

A con­verted large stor­age con­tainer — pur­chased by Tocumwal Cham­ber for such events — was used for the front of house to col­lect money, while four bar­be­cues were

al­most constantly be­ing used to cook up the food.

So pop­u­lar was the bar­be­cue, or­gan­is­ers vol­un­teers were forced to re­stock their ba­con sup­plied by Satur­day af­ter­noon.

Tocumwal Cham­ber pres­i­dent Ser­gio Rede­galli said what the vol­un­teers man­aged to pull off ‘‘was an over­whelm­ing suc­cess’’.

‘‘Al­though we haven’t fi­nalised our fig­ures raised, we spent at least a min­i­mum $35,000 on buy­ing all lo­cal pro­duce.

‘‘We sold at least 3,800 bags of ice, and for the food we were go­ing through 1,000 bread rolls a day to serve the meat, from lo­cal butch­ers.

‘‘Not to mention ev­ery­thing else likes straw­ber­ries and other goods pur­chased from other lo­cal sup­pli­ers such as K&A Foods in Fin­ley, David Walsh Gas and bak­eries in Tocumwal and Fin­ley,’’ Mr Rede­galli said.

Tocumwal butcher Mick Haynes said his busi­ness was able to ben­e­fit from Straw­berry Fields.

‘‘It makes our team quite busy for the three weeks lead­ing up to it, and it cer­tainly in­creases my busi­ness sub­stan­tially,’’ he said.

‘‘The Straw­berry Fields crew go out of their way to shop lo­cally, and so did some of the other food ven­dors.’’

(From left) Clive James, Claire Wil­man, Liz Lang, Ross Bodey and Ian Lang were just some of the vol­un­teers at the com­mu­nity bar­be­cue.

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