Festival announce grant recipients

By Southern Riverina News

Almost $20,000 in proceeds from the 2018 Strawberry Fields Festival in Tocumwal has been distributed among local community groups.

The Strawberry Fields Community Grants initiative is funded by a percentage of ticket sales and activities held throughout the music and arts festival itself.

Established in 2015, festival director Tara Benney said the aim of the initiative is to provide a positive lasting impact in the shire by supporting initiatives which enhance community economic development and improve the quality of everyday life in the region.

‘‘Government and private funding for community causes in small regional towns is extremely limited,’’ Ms Benney said.

‘‘We consider ourselves a part of this community and want to make sure we support it.

‘‘We try to pick a diverse range of grant recipients to ensure that the benefits of the festival can be felt by a wide range of residents — regardless of their age and whether or not they are interested in attending the event or not.

‘‘The amount of funds granted reflects what applicants applied for, with our program designed to fund projects of about $5,000 or less.’’

The $19,720 granted this year has been shared between seven local organisations and community groups.

Recipients are as follows:

  • Tocumwal Angling Club - $5,000 to purchase Murray Cod and Golden Perch fingerlings for release into the Murray River in the Berrigan Shire, matched dollar-for-dollar by NSW Fisheries. It is anticipated the increase in fishing opportunities will attract locals and visitors, and contribute to the local economy.
  • CanAssits Finley – $5,000 to support locals receigin cancer treatment. The funding could potentially support 10 patients and their families with $500 each, with support including petrol vouchers, accommodation during treatment periods, pharmacy accounts, or to pay for speciality food required for patients.
  • Moira Foodshare – $3,000 to support farmers, single parent families, people who are out of work or disadvantaged individuals and families with food packages. Grant funding is specifically for facilities and transport of food.
  •  Berrigan Football Club – $2,650 to purchase new goal post pads for the home football ground. The club was chosen for its role as a social hub of the Berrigan community, and to support physical fitness, socialisation and personal growth opportunities.
  • Berrigan Public School - $2,000 to contribute to the student wellbeing officer role, which the school sees as ‘‘a critical part of ensuring our young people achieve improved life outcomes and grow into informed citizens who make positive contributions to their communities’’. The student wellbeing officer initiates projects such as the student partnership project with Amaroo Aged Care, DrumBeat, Rock and Water, resilience programs and breakfast programs.
  • Berrigan Local Health Advisory Committee – $1,270 to produce a permanent information document for all residents of Berrigan Shire detailing access to health and mental health services.
  • Finley Tai Chi – $800 for a hands free microphone and amplifier to better cater to hearing impaired participants and the growing class numbers.