Thousands raised in BBQ and The Beast fundraiser
In one of the Darling Downs’ largest private fundraisers for RACQ LifeFlight Rescue, on Saturday evening almost 400 residents enjoyed a BBQ with a difference at the Brymaroo Rodeo Grounds hosted by dairy farmer Jenny Ballon.
In an ironic tribute to a shocking accident where she was attacked by one of her own cattle, the Maclagan local sent one of her bulls to the butcher to become steak for the entire community.
In July this year, Jenny Ballon was airlifted by the Toowoomba RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter after she was attacked and trampled by a large, angry bullock on her dairy farm about 45 kilometres east of Dalby.
“I bent down to open the gate and he was coming through, charging right at me,” said Jenny.
“He hit the gate and sent me flying five metres through the air.”
The angry bullock then turned on her a second time trampling her while she was lying on the ground.
“I was probably in his way. He was trying to get out,” she said.
“It was one small mistake, a split second wrong decision that nearly cost me my life.”
Jenny’s injuries were life-threatening, including a cracked sternum, seven broken ribs and a punctured lung, however surprisingly she still had her sense of humour.
“All I could think of when I was lying there in pain is; when I’m better I’m going to eat the beast!”
She was transported by road ambulance to Dalby Hospital and then airlifted by the Toowoomba based RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter in a serious but stable condition to the Princess Alexandra Hospital.
“I don’t know what it would have been like to travel for four hours by road ambulance to Brisbane with a punctured lung and broken ribs,” said Jenny.
“LifeFlight did such a great job getting me there. I feel so lucky.”
After making a full recovery Jenny began organising her revenge BBQ to raise money for LifeFlight, however the offending bullock was deemed too big and tough to eat.
“We had to pick another one. He’s the ultimate sacrifice,” she said.
“He looked about the right size and we got about 650 tender steaks out of him.
“It was enough to feed everyone on the night.”
The BBQ and the Beast fundraiser received incredible support from the local community with more than $20,000 raised to help LifeFlight continue their lifesaving work in the region.
“I am truly humbled by the response but I realise they weren't just coming for me. As country people we know how important LifeFlight is. It's the difference between life and death and that's what resonates with people," Jenny said.
In the last financial year LifeFlight’s nine community helicopters performed a record 1,864 air-medical flights across Queensland and northern New South Wales, including 561 airlifts in the South West region.