Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology confirmed that 2019 was the hottest, driest year on record. We experienced one of the worst droughts in decades, and heatwave conditions resulting in devastating bushfires. Throughout this destruction it was heartening to see communities come together – including our own Benedict community.

Menangle’s initiative to help drought affected farmers through the ‘Buy Another Bale’ campaign gained full support at Appin, Belrose, Cowra, Mittagong, Newcastle, Unanderra and Head Office – resulting in a combined donation of $9,500. The funds purchased a truckload of hay (32 bales weighing about 700 kilos each!). The much needed hay went to Taree, where a number of road-trains delivered it to the appreciative farmers.

Like many Australians during the bushfires our thoughts went out to the brave people who risked their lives, those who lost loved ones and homes, the suffering of wildlife, and the destruction of bushland. Our own ‘Queen of the Raffle’ Lyn, along with Paul Arnold, kick started Benedict’s bushfire fundraising efforts by raising money for their local Rural Fires Services. Other sites soon followed, and thanks to our generous staff, sites, BeneFactor, and corporate donation Benedict has raised nearly $33,000. The money raised going toward purchasing equipment for local Rural Fire Stations, the RSPCA NSW Bushfire Appeal, Foodbank AustraliaWWF-Australia Koala Crisis Fund and Country Women’s Association (CWA) of NSW Wingello.

Another wonderful example of community spirit was Cowra’s donation of $2,500 to the local hospital. Pat Smith and Anne Reeves from Cowra Hospital Auxiliary dropped by our site to present a Certificate of Appreciation.
Michelle Rowe accepted on behalf of Benedict whose donation will go towards the purchase of vital medical equipment and ensure more medical procedures can now be carried out locally.

Well done team Benedict here’s a snapshot of your great work…