ARTICLE IN “THE STANDARD”
DESPITE a concerted effort to lure revellers to the revamped Warrnambool show, crowd numbers were still underwhelming across the weekend.
Warrnambool Agricultural Society manager Mike Farrow said the small crowd was again disappointing.
“Unfortunately we are not being supported by the local community,” he said.
“We really do appreciate everyone who came. We thank those who did.
“We had a good crowd, but we need more to keep the show going.”
Mr Farrow said there were 10 agricultural shows held across Victoria on the weekend.
“If we are not one of the most profitable we won’t get the big rides,” he said.
“If the Warrnambool public want the big rides they need to support the show. There are five or six other shows close by and that’s what we are up against.”
The show ran competitions from Thursday to yesterday, while sideshow alley was open on Friday and Saturday.
“Most people thought it was a positive,” Mr Farrow said. “Whether it was the right two days we will need to discuss.”
New concepts introduced included a food olympics and produce hall.
“I definitely believe the highlight was the apprentice chef challenge and moving the commercial sites up to the Wannon Rooms,” Mr Farrow said.
“It’s something we can build on.”
Chris Carroll won the first-year apprentice chef challenge and Rebecca Harris took out the second-year apprentice section.
There was a four-way tie in the third-year class, with the judges unable to separate Nick Mischkulnig, Sarah Hand, Maddie Eade and Sarah Parson’s cooking.
Mr Farrow said the shearing on Saturday night was popular, with a packed crowd watching the finals.
“The new arts and crafts pavilion and set-up was also well received,” he said.
“The gymnasium centre had a lot of kids go in and try it out and Animals 2U was a big hit. They would love to come back next year and make it bigger and bring more animals.”
FAMILIES flocked to the Cranbourne Racecourse last Saturday for a fun filled day out.
The entertainment was endless and a few furry friends turned out to be a big hit on the day.
Burmese cats and sheep chasing dogs kept the crowds entertained with many other activities on offer during the day.
CFA and SES crews also attended on the day to teach young children about their services and free rides were also a big attraction.
About 1800 children were also expected to plant seedlings with staff from Bunnings to take home afterwards and help grow.
LEADER COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER CENTRAL
HUNDREDS of families across the state are struggling to find enough ways to say thanks to the thousands of generous strangers who donated to this year’s Very Special Kids campaign.
A staggering $1,157,210 has been raised in the 2014 Piggy Bank Appeal to help more than 800 families caring for children with life-threatening conditions.
Ringwood North parents Frank and Jenni Concilia became involved with the Malvern-based charity in 2012 when their son Josh was diagnosed with leukaemia.
Josh, 12, was also born with a very rare genetic condition called kabuki syndrome, which has meant that treating his leukaemia has been a process of trial and error with traditional procedures not working.
“He suffered severe side effect because of the chemotherapy,” Mrs Concilia said.
“But he’s a real fighter. He’s got another nine months of treatment to go. But he’s such a happy little boy.”
Mrs Concilia said they became involved with VSK to help support their daughter Mia, 9.
She said because of Josh’s illness she felt Mia’s needs were not being met.
Mia attended one of the VSK sibling days, and is now a regular attendee.
“She just found those so lovely,” Mrs Concilia said.
“It’s an escape for her but also means she meets other kids who have brothers and sisters going through the same thing.”
Mia also has a trained home volunteer that spends one-on-one time with her.
Mrs Concilia said she couldn’t express how grateful she was to everyone who had donated to this year’s appeal.
“We’ve felt so supported by VSK throughout this journey,” she said.
“We’re so lucky to have been in touch with them. They’ve just been amazing.
“We are so grateful to the larger community who offer their support to VSK because without that, they wouldn’t be able to support families like us. There are some really amazing, generous people out there and they don’t even realise the huge impact they’re having.”
READ MORE ON HOW VERY SPECIAL KIDS IS HELPING FAMILIES:
Very Special Kids chief executive Sarah Hosking said she was “extremely grateful for the generous support”, which would enable VSK to continue its work.
“While the future is uncertain for many of these families and their children, one thing they can rely on is that VSK will be there to offer respite and end-of-life care through the hospice and practical and emotional support through our Family Support Services and home volunteers, and all free-of-charge,” Ms Hosking said.
“It costs $6.5 million per year to operate VSK. Thank you for helping us give these families that certainty.”
Find out more about the Piggy Bank Appeal at the Very Special Kids’ website.
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