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13 September 2001

Rodeo committee says thank you

Accepting their cheques - Bevin Brown (OPAL FM), Gil Mack (Cadets, Jim McMahon (committee), Chris McPhan, (Rotary), Aub Tribe (committee) and Allan Johnston (RFDS)

The Black Opal Rodeo Association recently gave their annual donations to local charities and organisations.

Receiving money this year was Lightning Ridge Rotary, who again gave tremendous service behind the bar; Lightning Ridge Cadet Unit, who manned the gates for the second year in a row; OPAL FM for their tireless promotion of the Easter Rodeo; and Allan Johnstone who accepted the donation on behalf of the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

As everyone is aware Allan chose Lightning Ridge as the first step in his campaign to raise money for this very worthwhile service (and indeed, no one knows how valuable the Flying Doctor Service is to remote towns than people involved in rodeos).

In return Allan, who has been a huge supporter of the rodeo since he got to town, will broadcast the 2002 Year of the Outback Lightning Ridge Black Opal Rodeo from Warwick to Darwin.

We apologise for the delay in this report but some of the members of the rodeo committee have had personal matters to attend to as well as holding down employment and looking after families.

The year 2001 rodeo, as usual, was highly successful and we have so many people to thank.

Major sponsors, Jim Beam, again came to the party with a sizeable donation and giveaways; sponsors Carlton; the Lightning Ridge District Bowling Club; the Lightning Ridge Hotel Motel; the Walgett Shire Council; Chris Stevens of Mr Cheap Warehouse; Jan and Duncan McDonald from Duncans Fashions; Darren and Kerry Pace, Pace Electricals; the Board of Directors, staff and members of the Lightning Ridge Miners Association; Rhonda White, White's Pharmacy; Gough and Gilmour; opal buyer Peter Sherman; Chris Knight, Northwest Fencing; Paul, Sally and Phyllis Weeks at Weeks Newsagency; Peter and Sue Scoles of Countrywide Tyres; Calweld Hire; Waller Constructions; IAMA (Moree), also came forward with their much-needed and appreciated support and enthusiasm.

Thank you to Wallaby Bob again for your poster design; Ian Woodcock for your unflagging assistance; Phillip and Narrelle Andrews for your help; Ridge Rock Earth Movers; Dowleans Radiators, Peter Smits; Eddie Webb, Allan Mateer and Cooky (Arc Wright).

Appreciation and heartfelt thanks also go out to Lightning Ridge Lions Club for their barbecue. We are sad to lose you and will miss you more than we can say next year.

Our local ambulance drivers were on hand and enjoyed the accident-free rodeo immensely.

What can I say to all those faceless people who are there on the day and night to give assistance wherever it's needed. Thank you hardly seems to be enough but please accept our gratitude.

On a personal note I would like to thank the committee I work with - Aub Tribe, Peter Driscoll, Jim McMahon, Jim and Chris Young, Paul Lunn, Kerry Simmons, Ricky Hall and Paul Langley. You're a great bunch and a pleasure to know.

Appreciation goes out to our contractors, especially local Pat Cross, who travel great distances with the best stock for your appreciation and enjoyment.

To a group who often gets forgotten - committee members' partners, family and friends. Without your support and sacrifice these things we do for the good of our community wouldn't get done.

Gratitude also goes out to Paul Langley's boys who came in on the Monday morning and had the grounds looking perfect in no time.

Special thanks, last but certainly not least, go out to the competitors and spectators. Without either of you our Easter rodeos would not be the great events they are.

On a financial aspect this year's rodeo was very successful. Our greatest expenses again were the contractors and prizemoney. Unfortunately, because of GST and other government and bureaucratic rises other expenses were up but we are proud to say we covered all.

Our fundraising towards next year is ongoing and we thank the people who buy the tickets in our meat trays and raffles and the staff and management of the Lightning Ridge Hotel Motel for allowing our Monday meat tray raffles and to Peter Driscoll and his long-suffering partner, Carol, for giving up time on Monday night to organise and sell the tickets.

Many improvements to the grounds are envisaged for next year, especially the ladies' amenities block.

The committee and many others who are giving their time and input to the cause, are planning a bumper rodeo for the Year 2002, the "Year of the Outback". We have had enquiries from bus companies wishing to organise tours and we hope this is just the start of a huge crowd.

We are also liaising with the committees for the Easter Goat and Horse races and hope to bring you the best Easter you can remember in quite a while.

If you have any good ideas or would like to give us a hand please feel free to call Francine on 6829 2914 (ah) or Aub on 6829 0915. Everything you have to offer would be more than appreciated.

Francine Mateer, Publicity
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