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It’s hard to grasp the fact that 99 percent of New South Wales is actually in drought when you live by the coast and your lawn is still green. Some country kids haven’t even seen rain in their lifetimes. Aid for farmers is not just about feeding livestock and pastures. It’s about supporting families whose livelihoods were built in the country over generations and are being taken away by the unstoppable forces of nature.

Surf Life Saving NSW (SLSNSW) was inspired when Woolgoolga SLSC set a challenge to the 129 surf life saving clubs and their membership over the weekend. Donate one bale of hay for our country mates in need so we can send a semi-trailer load of feed and help relieve some financial pressure on those who are struggling.

After just four days, surf clubs and their members have raised over $6,800, with $2,000 raised at our State Conference last weekend alone!

SLSNSW CEO Steven Pearce said he is incredibly touched and proud of those who have contributed to the fund set up through RuralAid’s Buy A Bale.

“Surf Life Saving NSW is proudly member centred and community focused,” said Steven Pearce. “It’s in our DNA to protect, educate and importantly support the community. This drought is ravaging our country communities and our clubs and members are responding and coming to the rescue, which is fantastic.”

Woolgoolga SLSC president Les Pepper, threw down the challenge to every club.

“SLSNSW asked everyone at the conference on the weekend to donate $5 each but we thought, just as a club, we could up it and pay for a whole bale of hay and challenge every other club to do the same so we can send out a decent truckload.

“We’re a rural club and we have members who live and work on properties,” said Les Pepper. “They’re in dire need of feed for their stock so we want to do whatever we can to help.”

Scrolling through the donation page, many clubs and members have made donations. Elouera SLSC and their members in particular, have not only made a significant contribution from their club, but individual members have donated their own amounts.

Newly elected Elouera SLSC president Darren Galea said that providing assistance to those in need was the least he could do as his first job as president. “I challenge my Bate Bay sister clubs to again look westward, as we do for the Cook Classic, and donate to this worthy cause. It would be even better if the other 11 clubs in the Sydney Branch also pledged substantial support to our great farming community.”

Many clubs have also started their own campaigns through the Buy A Bale initiative, including Swansea Belmont SLSC.

If you or your members want to help just jump onto the SLSNSW page and get your club involved.

We’ve made it easy for every club and its members to get involved and every cent counts. Make your donation now:

2 August, 2018​