Here’s what our fab fundraisers have been up to lately!
Upturned boat not enough to dampen spirits
It was far from a dream run for Kallun Green and Alex Costello at this year’s Dam to Dam dinghy race, hosted by the Kununurra Water Ski Club in Western Australia. The duo survived one boat roll and were back in the running only to have a spark plug lead pop off, cutting the engine and pushing the dinghy into a low-hanging tree. Stranded, they had to wait several hours before the army turned up to save the day! Lucky for them, they were supported by a class-act fundraising team back at the club who raffled and tin-rattled their way to $3,742.
Tocal College and community rally for Dolly
Students from the Tocal College Rotary Connect group in Paterson, New South Wales, showed us they mean business when it comes to fundraising. At the end of May, students sourced prizes from local businesses to make a raffle, baked up a storm with blue cupcakes and sold lengths of blue ribbon that were purchased by staff and students and tied to tree branches around the school. Inspired by their efforts, the local Rotary club also hosted a barbeque in support of Dolly’s Dream, contributing $1,000 to the fundraising effort to make a combined total of $3,020 – champions!
Taking the music to the people
John Simpson is passionate about the power of music and its unique ability to bring people together, especially in remote regions where he says people need support, financially and mentally. He’s also a very passionate supporter of Dolly’s Dream – so marrying the two seemed like a no-brainer to him.
As part of his campaign to Revive the Regions with Music, John has fundraised for Dolly’s Dream across gigs in South Australia by auctioning donated goods like guitars, signed by the artists. He started in June with 500 Miles of Music, a six-day music roadshow that delivered five events at four venues raising $3,840, before heading to Rock the Ranges and Cleve Harvest Music Fest, both in October.
Solar pump the winning ticket at Brunette Races
The Brunette Races in the Northern Territory didn’t exactly go to plan this year. Two and half inches of rain the day before meant that most of the races had to be called off. But not all was lost! Ria Aqua had donated a solar pump to be auctioned off in support of Dolly’s Dream and it fetched $23,500. Thanks for your support ABC Amateur Race Club!
Absolute troopers camping for a cause
The Troopcarriers of Australia (TOA), a group bound by their love of the popular off-roader, the Toyota Troopcarrier, came together in July to camp for a cause as part of their Ramblin’ Winter celebration. The group parked up for three nights at a campground in Crescent Head, New South Wales, and hosted a raffle and an auction, and donated proceeds from the camping fees, resulting in $2,879 for Dolly’s Dream.
Heifer raises $8,000
After encountering bullying off and on throughout his life, Dolly’s story resonated strongly with Victorian dairy farmer and 2017 Young Farmer of the Year, Jason Smith. He had wanted to support Dolly’s Dream for a while but hadn’t known how to go about it, but the solution wasn’t far from the door – literally.
Running stud Jersey and Illawarra cows in Simpson, a small town in the Western District, Jason said, “I had this pretty good calf. I’d imported her grandmother as an embryo from Canada. Then the thought popped in my head: what about if I put it up for charity?”
With the support of the Simpson & District Lions Club, of which he is the president, raffle tickets were purchased by fellow dairy farmers across Australia.
Opening in March and closing in July, the heifer fetched $8,000, the highest amount the Simpson & District Lions Club has donated to one charity in the history of the club. And after all that – it was a local who won!
A marathon effort
The Australian Outback Marathon had two competitors flying the Dolly’s Dream flag this year, Belinda Gibson from Queensland, and none other than Dolly’s mum herself, Kate Everett. Belinda said, “it’s been a goal for me to do a half marathon and to do it for a cause that is so desperately needed everywhere – young or old – as no one deserves to be bullied and it costs nothing to be kind. Doing this fundraiser makes me happy as I’m creating awareness and I’m doing it for someone else!”
First time marathon runner Kate was eager to raise funds and awareness for the Dolly’s Dream Support Line – a service she is very passionate about. Reflecting on her experience, Kate said, “people find it so difficult to ask for help and then to push through to brighter days, and that’s exactly what it feels like. That last 10km, I just kept thinking that I’m just going to keep running, to turn a light on for those that can’t see it”. Together, the pair raised more than $26,000 for Dolly’s Dream.
Friends saddle up to raise funds
Friends Samayah (eight) and Darcie (10) love their ponies, being outside – and Dolly’s Dream. Originally set to compete in Dirty Kids, an obstacle course in Townsville, COVID-19 riled their plans so instead, the girls saddled up to compete in the North Queensland Elite Rodeo Under 12 Barrel Race which they loved! Darcie and Samayah, with the help of Samayah’s mum Georgina, did a fabulous job sharing their fundraising page around and manning a stall at the event, all of which raised $2,786 – way to go girls!
Dreaming under the sun
From the folk that usually do the amazing gala ball, Dreaming Under the Stars, came a new look event this spring – Dreaming Under the Sun. Dressed in their best whites, Katherinites gathered for a lush, two course lunch at the Katherine Museum. Live entertainment, a raffle and lucky door prizes saw the event a sweeping success, raising $11,400. A huge thank you to Raine Holcombe and committee for their continued efforts supporting Dolly’s Dream.
A hat-trick for the Simpson Desert bikers
A group of intrepid women have crossed the Simpson Desert à la motorbike for the third time, in what has been their biggest fundraising campaign yet. The ride, which starts in Birdsville, Queensland, spans challenging conditions including sweltering temperatures, for four days, ending in Birdsville, South Australia. Together, the 16 riders raised an incredible $34,059, taking their three-year total to over $80,000! This includes the funds raised through an extra event hosted this year – due to popular demand – the Simpson Desert Challenge, which saw four riders complete a 550km loop of the desert over four days, starting and ending in Birdsville.
Thanks to Stuart Ball from Australian Outback Adventures, the support crew and all the riders this year, some participating for the first time, and others who have done all three rides: Kim Killick, Heidi Giersch, Tammy Peters, Jayne White, Sharka Zeman, Shelby Turner, Billie Taylor, Angela Sorrell, Tone Lampe, Jasmine Jayde, Belinda Hughes, Amy Greig, Jade Franklin, Amy Duggan, Brigitte Dooley, Shelley Baker, and to the Challenge riders: Fanette Bossuyt, Alice Purcell, Trine Hafner. We hope to see you back in future years!
A mission like no other: The Travelling Jackaroo pushing limits, but not on the road
If you see him – and you can’t miss him – give him a toot, a donation or a home-cooked meal. Sam Hughes, aka The Travelling Jackaroo, is undertaking an adventure of a lifetime. Having been bullied himself at school, the 18-year-old from Maleny, Queensland, is on a mission to ignite conversations about rural mental health and draw attention to the lack of services available to those living regionally and remotely – and he’s not in a hurry!
Sam is driving a 60-year-old Chamberlain tractor (max speed 35km/hr), affectionately known as Slim Dusty, and towing an enormous, covered trailer with a light aircraft atop, a nod to the Royal Flying Doctor Service who he is also supporting along with Drought Angels.
Every day is different for Sam, who is accompanied by his dog Bitsa and cockatiel Flynn. His trailer holds a mobile outdoor screen for showing movies, a jumping castle and a popcorn machine – all of which he uses to raise funds and start conversations.
Currently somewhere in the Top End, where he had the pleasure of meeting Kate Everett recently, Sam has plans to continue onto Western and South Australia and Tasmania but has no set timeline. Sam has raised $24,366 for Dolly’s Dream and is fast becoming the kind of social media influencer we like to see, with 80,000 Facebook followers. Find him by searching ‘The Travelling Jackaroo’. Thanks Sam, we are in complete awe of you.
Dancing Under the Stars lights Roma up for another year
The wonderful team behind Dancing Under the Stars delivered another superb gala ball this March, raising $22,313 for Dolly’s Dream. Organisers Tracey, Megan and Katie were overjoyed by the turnout, generosity, love, compassion and spirit shown by the Roma community in Queensland. They have already locked in a date for next year, so be sure to mark 12 March 2022 in your diaries. Thank you Tracey and co for your ongoing commitment to supporting Dolly’s Dream.
Going the distance for Dolly throughout the year
It was a conversation over Christmas that sparked the idea of a horse trek along a segment of the Bicentennial National Trail for John Brosnan. Passionate about the development of young people, constantly dismayed with stories like Dolly’s in the media and having worked in the horse and cattle industry in the Northern Territory for 30 years, supporting Dolly’s Dream was a natural choice.
Fast forward nine months and John and his four mares have just completed a 400km segment of the 5,300km trail, starting at Blackbutt and finishing in his hometown of Killarney, taking him just over a month. Together with his Glencore colleague Davina Taefi who joined him for the last section of the ride, the pair raised funds through their workplace, the Hail Creek Mine, and hosted several fundraising barbeques. They have been blown away by the support they’ve received and have raised around $40,000 for Dolly’s Dream. Thank you John and Davina.
Junee High School: how 16 Year 12s raised $7,000 throughout the year
At the start of the year, the Year 12 students of Junee High School, a small rural school in New South Wales, decided that Dolly’s Dream was their charity of choice, and they have taken every opportunity to raise funds throughout the year. First time participators in Do It For Dolly Day, the Year 12s designed and delivered a short lesson to the student body during roll call with a focus on kindness.
Students wrote affirmations and hung them on blue butterflies that decorated a school corridor. They also held a cake stall, catered for a principal’s conference held on site and prepared and sold hamburgers to the students and staff at lunch – all on the one day! Throughout the year they also ran ‘Aromas Café’ twice a week where they made and sold hot drinks to the staff, held more cake stalls, an Easter raffle and catered other whole school events. This resulted in $7,000 of fundraising – an absolutely phenomenal effort from a small school with just 16 Year 12s.
Gladstone Port Curtis Rotary Club raise $10,000 throughout the year
Motivated by the likelihood that their grandchildren may encounter bullying or cyberbullying at school, Kerrie and Roy Johnson from the Gladstone Port Curtis Rotary Club chose to support Dolly’s Dream for the 2020-2021 year. A truly diverse fundraising plan saw all the usual strategies deployed (raffles, barbeques, etc.) and a few more that we don’t see that often (footy tipping, garage sales), topped off with some more out-of-the-box ideas like hosting an open home, staged with antiques and old memorabilia. If you can think of it, these guys did it!
A huge thank you to Kerrie and the club members for leading such an incredible fundraising effort and to the Gladstone Port Curtis community for your very generous support.