St Joseph’s Merriwa show strong community spirit

With many local farmers doing it tough in the current drought, the seventh annual St Joseph’s Primary School, Merriwa, Junior Campdraft and Fete provided the community with a much-needed break to enjoy some fun time with family and friends.

Held at Merriwa Showground, the event saw members of the Parents & Friends (P&F) Association, volunteers, past school members, and many others from within the community band together to organise and bring the day to life.

While the event helped raise money for St Joseph’s, it also provided an opportunity for members of the wider community to come together and enjoy a fun-filled day.

“The local community enjoyed the camaraderie which a day at the showground offers. Local farmers and others affected by the devastating effects of drought had a good reason to smile as they gathered for the school’s biggest fundraising event of the year,” said Helen Whale, Principal of St Joseph’s, Merriwa.

The major sponsors of the day included Martins Group of Companies, Merriwa IGA, Welderup, Ben Furney Flour Mill, MACH Energy, Upper Hunter Shire Council and Ross Granata Motors. Their financial support was a critical factor in the success of the day.

A number of students from St Joseph’s competed in the campdraft and ring events, as others helped out with the fete activities. Stage 3 students organised the petting zoo which featured piglets from Merrifield Farm, chickens from the school coop, a goat, pony, lamb and more. The farm was supervised by senior and former students on the day.

Other students got their hands dirty making items to sell at the various market stalls including potting plants for the garden stall, creating mosaic stepping stones for the plant stall, helping parents bake cakes and cookies for the cake stall and filling jars with an assortment of treasures to sell at the Tombolo stall.

Some of the other fun activities included a high tea, face painting, a ‘Kiss the Pig’ competition, lucky dips, busking by teachers and students, hobby horse making, sheep weight guessing competitions, a raffle and the annual hobby horse race.

With many other campdraft events unable to be run because of the dry weather, a big thank you goes to Martins Group of Companies and the Maben family for their donation of fit and healthy cattle to ensure the day’s competition – involving 300 runs and riders from across – did take place.

The funds raised will go towards supporting wellbeing and STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths) programs throughout the school.

“The St Joseph’s Campdraft and Fete filled me with pride for the wonderful school community we have and the fantastic relationship the school community enjoys with the wider community,” said Helen.

“I am always amazed at how the day plays out, in no small part due to the huge amount of effort dedicated to its organisation by the band of team leaders within the P&F.

“This is coupled by the fact that all parents turn out on the day armed with cooking or stock whips, with their sleeves rolled up ready to help out in whatever way they can. The generosity of the donors is testimony to the high regard in which the school is held and the value placed on educating the students.

“This sets a wonderful example to our students who are left in no doubt about the value of community, volunteering, hard work and cooperation.”

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