Taste 2019 to assist drought recovery

All systems are “Go” for the 2019 Taste the Limestone Coast Festival!

The new committee has been very busy behind the scenes preparing for what we hope will be the best Taste yet! Several new ideas for the festival will be blended in with the favourites from previous years to keep the event fresh and growing each year.

Our established program of activities will all be returning. Starting with the HelloWorld travel quiz and travel expo there will be the Ambrose golf tournament, the outdoor movie, the sidewalk sale, the festival event, the producers and makers market and winding up at the colourful Naracoorte Cup race meeting.

There will be plenty to keep patrons busy and entertained for the whole festival.

The Lions and community Taste Committee has decided that the proceeds from the festival day will be directed to the ongoing support of drought affected communities through the Australian Lions Foundation (ALF).

We acknowledge that there is a huge current groundswell of support for our drought affected farmers, but we also understand that this drought will be felt in families, communities, businesses, towns and beyond for months and possibly years to come. It is for this ongoing support that we hope to be able to make a significant donation.

The Australian Lions Foundation has been providing grants for disaster relief, compassionate support and community initiatives since the 1980s. Every year the Foundation distributes more than $1 million for projects through local Lions Clubs.

The Foundation Directors are all Lion volunteers who do not receive any income for their efforts. The funds raised by the ALF will quickly be distributed to local Lions Clubs in drought affected communities to help farming families. Lion’s grassroots network of over 1200 clubs is already working in their communities to identify those most in need and the best ways to help.

Because Lions work through their network of local clubs, donors can be sure that the support will go to where it is most needed. ALF Chairman Tony Benbow OAM has made a promise:

“Because it’s Lions, every dollar donated to this appeal will be used to support those in need.”

Australian Lions Clubs have already raised over $604,000 which has been used for distributing fodder and hampers through the Lions “Need for Feed” program and Lions Clubs around the country are raising funds and mobilising community support but Lions know they need to do more. Our Taste donation will go towards the next phase of the recovery program by supporting rural communities get back on their feet.

Local Lions Clubs in affected areas will continue to identify needs and use funds from the ALF to address these needs in their own communities.

The Taste committee has since 2011 donated around $80,000 to local and national causes and disaster relief and we will continue to consider all levels in future years.

The best news this week is that there have been widespread rains in several of the drought affected areas and hopefully there is more to come! Australian bush poet John O’Brien certainly summed up the nation’s feelings in his 1919 poem Said Hanrahan:

And so around the chorus ran

“It’s keepin’ dry, no doubt

We’ll all be ‘rooned,” said Hanrahan,

“Before the year is out.”

With community support, the Taste Committee hopes that we will able to assist in the recovery program and that our farming communities are not all “Rooned!”