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Committees overwhelmed by community spirit

22/Apr/2020  
CMRI’s Fundraising Committees have been hit hard by isolation.

These tireless volunteers, who are passionate about raising funds to support CMRI’s important research, normally hold events all over NSW but have had to cancel or postpone everything. Their events are often the biggest highlight on their community’s calendar, attended by hundreds of people.

However, the bright light in this situation has been the incredible community support shown by those who regularly attend these events. Both the Strathfield and Quirindi committees have received donations from supporters despite their events not going ahead.

The Quirindi Fundraising Committee has weathered drought and fire but was still planning their massive Jazz on the Plains event with optimism after receiving much-needed rain.

“Everyone was so optimistic after the rain, we were all ready to celebrate,’’ President Trini Ronald said. “Now we’ve had this. It’s very disruptive, but at the same time it’s been lovely to see the community’s generosity.’’

The committee had several people call and offer to donate the price of their event ticket and have ended up raising around $1,000.

“It was probably about half of those who had booked. Everyone has been so generous,’’ she said.
“Everybody has been really good about supporting us. Everyone who donated the raffle prizes were happy for them to be held until next year’s event.’’

Strathfield Committee president, Cona Jones, was equally as surprised to have her supporters also donate their ticket price. They raised $3,600 for a high tea that couldn’t go ahead.

 “People were so generous to donate the price of their ticket,’’ Mrs Jones said. “I think every committee from CMRI is in the same boat, we just don’t know what’s in front of us.
“It’s lovely to see the support is still there, and that everyone was so generous. One person donated $350. I think they really felt for us. Our committee is strong, we’ll support each other.’’

CMRI’s Acting Fundraising Manager Jane Ruston paid tribute to the committees and their supporters.

“We know everyone is feeling frustrated right now, and no one more than our hard-working committees who usually put on several events throughout the year,’’ Ms Ruston said.

“We are so appreciative of the support of their members and friends who have still managed to raise money, despite everything that is going on. It shows how incredibly determined, passionate and resilient they are. It is that spirit that has kept our CMRI Fundraising Committees going for more than 60 years. On behalf of all the scientists at CMRI we would like to sincerely thank them.’’