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    THANK YOU: From left, Marnie, Maddy, Antionette and Jessi Toet are grateful for $900 in community donations at Dimboola Store.

Toet sisters step up for charities

By Michael Scalzo

Dimboola’s Toet sisters, Maddy and Jessi, overcame social-distancing issues to bring the Dimboola community together this summer. 

The girls are raising money for charities close to their hearts.

Maddy, 17, and Jessi, 14, reached their $1000 targets at the weekend thanks to generous community support.

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Maddy has rowed 450 kilometres on the Wimmera River in support of mental health, while Jessi plans to cut off two years’ growth of her long hair, raising money for Cancer Council. 

Maddy had heard the Royal Flying Doctor Service had cancelled money-raising efforts because of Covid-19 policies. So with friend Freya Colbert, she decided to step in and raise $1000 for the organisation’s mental-health support services. 

Maddy said while her body was sore and the row was ‘definitely hard’, the worst part was an ever-growing amount of blisters. 

“We had blisters galore,” she said. 

Jessi has been growing her hair since the start of 2020 and gained inspiration to support the Cancer Council after a medical specialist diagnosed a young girl in her class with cancer. 

She said she was looking forward to the change with shorter hair hopefully being ‘way more easier to manage’. 

Long-time neighbours of the Toet family, Tori Lehmann and Linda Millane, who own Dimboola Store, joined the campaign at the weekend in a final push to help the girls reach their target. 

With an offer to donate $5 from every egg and bacon roll they sold on Sunday to both girls’ efforts, Dimboola Store raised $618 in cash donations and $280 in egg and bacon rolls to add $450 to each of the girls’ campaigns. 

“Maddy and Jess are such great girls, caring and lovely, and we’re so happy to get behind them,” Mrs Lehmann said.

Maddy and Jessi’s mother, Antionette, said Mrs Lehmann and Mrs Millane’s offer to promote the girls’ causes was amazing given the last few years had been so tough on small business. 

With Maddy and Jessi’s father Dean in front of the store all day ‘working the crowd’ and both girls inside taking orders, Mrs Toet said there was a great community atmosphere all day.

“Dimboola Store sold twice as many egg and bacon rolls than normal on Sunday,” she said.

“It was such a nice day for everyone in the wider Dimboola community and we’re so grateful to Linda and Tori for everything.”

Mrs Toet said Jessi planned to cut her hair at Holy Trinity Lutheran College assembly in Horsham.

She said she plans to put on another event at Dimboola Store if COVID-19 rules make this impossible. 

The entire January 12, 2022 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!