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    CALL FOR SUPPORT: Horsham Agricultural Society member Ron Bennett and secretary Andrea Cross show off a donation box to raise money for improvements at Maydale Reserve. The society launched the Maydale Reserve Improvement Program at its New Year’s Eve By The River event. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

Horsham Agricultural Society seeks support


Horsham Agricultural Society’s New Year’s Eve celebration has highlighted a growing need for community backing to help preserve and improve society-used venues and annual events. 

The society hosted its second New Year’s Eve By The River event at Horsham Showground’s Maydale Reserve.

The night welcomed about 2000 people and featured light displays, a 2020 countdown cartoon projection, food trucks, live music and children’s entertainment.

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Society secretary Andrea Cross said while the night was successful and received plenty of positive patron feedback, it also put the spotlight on an increasing need for additional funding and support for the society. 

She said the night involved the launch of a Maydale Reserve Improvement Program, where the society would seek continued financial assistance to help improve infrastructure and events.

Mrs Cross said this would help ensure Horsham and district people could continue to enjoy the free and live music events they requested and participated in annually.

“We are seeking more community support to help run these events and enable them to continue,” she said.

“They’re not essential events, but they are what the community asks for, and we’re meeting that community need and call.

“But our buildings are aged, we recognise that. 

“We really need federal or state funding to get more money for the Maydale Reserve and help get us over the line, but it’s really important the community gets behind us too.”

Mrs Cross said the society’s not-for-profit position meant community backing was vital, particularly with ‘massive’ efforts from volunteers at each event.

She said the New Year’s Eve event, for example, would have likely involved more than 200 hours of voluntary labour on the day, which is in addition to preparations in the two months prior.

“It’s a huge effort by the committee to create an event like this; it doesn’t just happen in one day,” she said.

“It is pretty intense, and the clean-up is massive, but it was a huge success. 

“The weather was perfect and allowed people to sit back and relax, which I think people needed. 

“We really need to thank all our volunteers, the musicians, Hannah French who put a lot of work into directing the five light projections around the venue, and Horsham Rural City Council.”

Mrs Cross said the event featured a donation box for the society, and people could continue to donate to the campaign by calling her on 0400 425 254.

The entire January 8, 2020 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!