Walking into the Roxy Theatre in Bingara is impressive at the best of times. Walking into the Roxy Theatre for the Unleash the Black Dog’s ‘Giving Back to the Gwydir Ball’ on Saturday night however, was just magical.
You could be mistaken for thinking Andino the Magician was responsible for all the magic at Saturday’s ball, but part of that magic also belonged to the volunteers who stopped the drought in its tracks, and allowed guests to wash away the black dog and have a night off.
The evening kicked off by walking the red carpet with Nikki Rose Images, who captured guests looking their finest. S
pecial guest speaker, Gwydir Shire Mayor Councillor John Coulton, discussed who the man behind the Mayor really is. A retired third generation farmer himself, drought is something he knows all too well, and his message was of hope and keeping the spirit of the Gwydir together during hard times.
Live band Splashpool did a special rendition of Colin Buchanan’s ‘Song of Australia’, which left guests captivated and set the positive tone for the evening.
Andino the Magician wowed the audience with tricks from not only up his sleeves, but from some other strange places too! His magic show was the talk of the night, and although he didn’t make it rain, he made the audience forget for just a little while that we are living through dry times.
The Honourable Mark Coulton MP, together with Deputy General Manager of Gwydir Shire, Leeah Daley were tasked with the job of choosing and announcing the Red Carpet Awards, which were awarded to Karen Bishton and Richard Lyons as Belle and Beau of the Ball, and James Hollow and Elizabeth Gordon for their Red Carpet Royalty.
The talented Chef and Molly Jones catered the evening for the third time, delivering a quality three course menu, complimented by the many amazing volunteers from across the Shire. Bingara Lions Club, Country Women’s Association Bingara Branch, Friends of Touriandi, and Robbie Burge, ensured guests were well looked after.
The Unleash the Black Dog committee, consisting of Angie Pritchard, Nikki Rose and Sarah Crump put on a show-stopper of an event for the Gwydir Shire, and the positive comments coming from Saturday night proved the event came at just the right time.
“A distraction from the drought is just what some people need right now, and that was what the weekend was all about”, said organiser Nikki Rose.
“Seeing the community come together for events such as this, makes us all proud to be part of this shire”, she said.
“There is a saying that we should plant seeds for a future where all people affected by a mental health condition experience resiliency, recovery and hope”, said organiser Angela Pritchard.
BEST Nursery in Inverell donated native seedlings for our guests to take home, in the hope the trees prosper to new, healthier conditions”, she said. “Our hope is that new memories were created on Saturday night, and when the drought finally does break, these memories will be front and foremost in people’s minds”, said organiser Sarah Crump.
“Rather than remembering the hard times, we can remember how we’ve all fought this drought together, and that good times follow bad”, she said.
The Unleash the Black Dog committee wish to thank all the volunteers who helped to ‘give back to the Gwydir’ on Saturday night. The assistance of so many volunteers is what made the night possible.