Press Release -
Money raised and lives saved at Stanthorpe’s first Charity Cattle Auction
Good natured rivalry was alive and well at the inaugural charity cattle auction at the Stanthorpe Agricultural Show yesterday, with over $46 thousand dollars raised for the sole beneficiary, RACQ LifeFlight Rescue.
Stanthorpe and South West region locals, including graziers, farm owners and even wine enthusiasts joined the proceedings, in support of the lifesaving rescue helicopter service.
It wasn’t long before auction bids were flying and charity dollars climbing, as over 25 heads of cattle were paraded with hundreds of keen locals gathering under the blazing sun.
The brains behind the operation, Grant McNamara, says he couldn’t ignore any longer, the familiar hum of the RACQ LifeFlight Rescue chopper flying over his cattle station on its regular flight path and decided to do something to support the clearly indispensable service.
The cattle auction has been Grant ‘s ‘baby’, or in this case, calf, for the past four months as he secured donations from friends, family and many other willing supporters from the wider Stanthorpe community.
“The support has been phenomenal,” says Grant, who only began organising the event late last November.
Grant reached out to Brett ‘Boaty’ Boatfield, head of the Stanthorpe Show Committee and secured a spot in the show proceedings.
Watching on together, Grant and Boaty today got to see their hard work and passion for a cause, come to fruition.
“It makes me feel pretty special that I'm part of such a wonderful community,” said Grant.
The auction wasn’t just reserved for cattle. Later in the night, sheep, bottles of wine and other various items of interest were auctioned off, adding to LifeFlight’s donations.
The rescue helicopter service is an important part of country life and Grant and Boaty want to ensure it’s around for the benefit of future generations.
“LifeFlight and the RFDS are probably the backbone of medical health in regional Australia. We don’t have the facilities they do in the big city which means we rely on services like LifeFlight,” said Grant.
Nikki Bloom, LifeFlight’s South West Community Engagement Manager, sees first hand how generosity and donations like those from the Stanthorpe Show, saves lives.
One such life was that of Cardell Turner - a dirt bike rider who suffered a horrific accident last September.
Nikki watched on with pride last Wednesday as Cardell was emotionally reunited with the Toowoomba crew who saved his life.
“If someone experiences a life-threatening accident or gets critically ill it may not be possible to get to a hospital in time. LifeFlight can be there when no one else can. We really give people a chance at life,” said Nikki.
It’s a chance that would not be possible without community support.
“When a whole community comes together it’s an amazing thing. Our South West community goes above and beyond and today has been no exception,” she said.
The charity provided a public show of thanks at Stanthorpe, with a LifeFlight Rescue Toowoomba-based chopper landing at the official opening ceremony in the evening, giving the successful day the finale it deserved.