FINAL TALLY: CQ charity rodeo raises 'phenomenal' $175K
"OVERWHELMED and incredibly proud.”
That is how Shannon Bleakley and partner Dan Roberts feel knowing they will donate $175,000 to the Dolly's Dream Foundation.
The money was raised at the Doin' it for Dolly Charity Rodeo held in Springsure last month.
The event was organised by the caring couple who felt compelled to do something after 14-year-old Amy 'Dolly' Everett took her own life in January.
They brought the massive fundraiser together in just a month, and support came from all over Australia.
While the initial estimate of funds raised was $100,000, the sums have been done and the final tally is $175,163.62.
Shannon said they would be contacting Dolly's parents Kate and Tick to organise the cheque handover for the foundation, established to raise awareness of bullying, anxiety, depression and youth suicide.
"It's just phenomenal,” Shannon said. "It really is overwhelming and we're just so grateful to everyone who was involved.
"We're so incredibly proud that we can hand over that money to the foundation and give it a kick-start.”
More than 290 competitors and 5000-plus spectators attended the rodeo.
Money was raised from the gate takings, the canteen and bar, a multi-draw raffle and an auction, which included a John Deere tractor donated by Vanderfield which sold for $25,000.
Not content to rest on their laurels, Shannon and Dan are hoping to work in conjunction with the foundation and organise a rodeo camp for juniors in the September school holidays.
"It's in the very early stages and we are still working out just what will be involved.
"While it will be a rodeo camp it will be about much more than rodeo skills.
"We want to focus on team building, confidence building and resilience and it will be open to children under-18.”
The Doin' it for Dolly Charity Rodeo will be aired on Channel 7's Creek to Coast on Saturday, March 17.
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