TIMES are tough, drought is all anyone sees on the horizon and across the media, these conditions are affecting not only farmers, but entire communities.
However a small community in Central West NSW is focusing on the positive and recognising sometimes the best thing you can do when you are down, is come together and celebrate.
Launched through a viral video of locals dancing up a storm, which can be seen below, the Coonamble Rain Dance is seeking donations and sponsorship to hold a ball and give locals a night off from the drought.
Farmer and Coonamble Rain Dance committee president, James Nalder, said Rain Dance aimed to bring both locals and supporters from across Australia to the town in an effort to improve the mental health and moral of the community.
“It’s a chance to forget about the drought for a night, catch up with friends and neighbours and wash the dust out of our throats,” he said.
“We want to provide a morale boosting lift for our whole community and district, turn a negative into a positive.
A social occasion such as this, with friends and neighbours can be just as valuable in a drought as a bale of hay
“It’s not just farmers, everyone is impacted and this is about recognising the effect of drought on the whole community”
Mr Nalder said the Coonamble Rain Dance will be held on Saturday, October 6, as part of a broader weekend of events in the community, including the annual Coonamble Gold Cup race day, aimed at attracting people into town.
“The Rain Dance is not only for locals, we are inviting our caring city friends and family, ex-Coonamble locals to join us to dance up a storm,” he said.
In drought times, the first thing to drop from the household budget is social events
Mr Nalder said the organising committee was seeking sponsorship from corporate businesses, government and any individual who wanted to show support and make the Rain Dance a reality.
“In drought times, the first thing to drop from the household budget is social events,” he said.
“Yet these are so important for mental health, they are an opportunity to check on each other and see if we’re all okay.
“Sponsorship for this event will keep ticket prices down, enabling cash-strapped locals to attend.”
It will raise awareness of the impact of drought on mental health, help bridge the city-country divide and boost regional tourism
Running with the theme of the event, Mr Nalder said sponsorship options ran from a drizzle to a flood.
“Now is the time to save the date and get in touch if you’d like to offer a contribution to the event,” he said.
“It only costs $50 to sponsor a ticket for a local to attend, but bigger sponsors can consider anything from a $500 ‘drizzle’ up to a $10,000 ‘flood’.
“And you can always talk to us directly if you want to bring a monsoon!”
Mr Nalder said the event had the potential to provide a number of benefits to the community.
“It will raise awareness of the impact of drought on mental health, help bridge the city-country divide and boost regional tourism,” he said.
“But most importantly, a social occasion such as this, with friends and neighbours can be just as valuable in a drought as a bale of hay.”
Mr Nalder said tickets will go on sale from September the 1st and urged people who were interested to join the Facebook page to ensure they don’t miss out.
Tickets will be available online and from selected outlets in Coonamble.
Donations are being accepted now at www.mycause.com.au/page/183184
For more information join www.facebook.com/coonambleraindance/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org