Volunteer caterers cook up cash for local communities

April 24, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-04-24 at 1.24.15 PMHundreds of volunteers have been cooking up cash for Riverina communities during the past 50 years of the Henty Machinery Field Days.

Sales of steak sandwiches and buckets of hot chips at the 2013 event delivered new playground equipment at Holbrook, helped disabled people enjoy Culcairn’s pool and gave footy players a new surface at Henty.

Money raised through the volunteer catering outlets at last year’s field days totalled more than $100,000 – all going to strengthen community facilities for people of all ages.

Henty Catering Association president Alison Campbell said the field days provided an opportunity for local groups to raise money from further afield.

The association has catered at every field day in the event’s 50-year history.

“The caterers and the field days co-operative enjoy a symbiotic relationship for the benefit of all,’’ Mrs Campbell said.

The association operates three food outlets at the field days – the luncheon shed, steakhouse and eastern barbecue shed – with other community organisations rotating through the additional sheds on site.

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Alison Campbell

“We want visitors to know when they support a community-run food outlet at the field days, they are directly helping worthwhile projects in small communities, which may not normally have access to these types of funds,’’ Mrs Campbell said.

Last year, the volunteer groups involved raised money for Henty’s public school, community centre and men’s shed.

A hoist for disabled access to the Culcairn Swimming Pool was provided from the funds raised, along with textbooks for Henty’s St Paul’s Lutheran School, playground shade for Holbrook’s St Patrick’s School and upgraded sporting facilities at Walbundrie.

Improvements were made to the playing surface at Henty Football Club while Pleasant Hills Public School students received a subsidised excursion.

“Over the 50 years we have been catering at the field days, the funds raised for Henty projects alone by volunteers would be well over $500,000, ‘’ Mrs Campbell said.

“The field days are a wonderful event in our area and we are grateful to be partners in it.

“Without the occasion, we wouldn’t have had the opportunity and hopefully our efforts are making a difference.’’