Photo: European imports and drought survivors Anna Prins and Taylor Royal celebrated the sudden downpour on Sunday evening with a beverage supplied courtesy of city corporates.
ON Sunday 24 November, TV presenter Sammie O’Brien and country wedding photographer Edwina Robertson visited Coonamble as a part of ‘A Beer on the City’ roadtrip, an initiative from the Drought Angels charity.
The event was held at the Terminus Hotel with the aim to get people off their properties and into a fun, social situation with the promise of free drinks.
“We just wanted to give people even just a couple of hours to stop thinking about the drought, to have something to look forward to, to have something to talk about after,” said Sammie.
The event supports drought-affected regional communities by putting money back into those communities.
“For every dollar spent in rural communities, that dollar gets circulated up to seven times,” said Edwina.
The event was packed with people looking to score a free drink or two, have a meal, listen to some acoustic tunes played by Brad Haling and support a worthwhile cause.
“I’m just here to catch up with mates, and the free beer helps,” said local Cindy Parsons. “Yeah, it’s absolutely a worthwhile cause.”
‘A Beer on the City’ has been held in various regional towns around the state, including at Nevertire, Trangie and Condobolin, and will travel to Collarenebri, Wee Waa and Deepwater. “I knew personally that Coonamble had been doing it tough for a while,” said Edwina, who had spent some time living in the district as an infant.
“I support the Coonamble Rams – I should’ve worn my hat!”
According to Edwina, of every dollar donated to Drought Angels, 82 cents goes back to farming families.
“For a charity, I think that’s pretty remarkable that so much of that donated money is going back to where it needs to be,” she said.
Sammie and Edwina not only shout drought-affected towns free beer, but also deliver food hampers, pre-paid visa cards and clothes. “Everyone has different needs during these hard times,” said Edwina.
“Pretty much everyone we’ve dropped hampers or visa cards to have said, ‘surely there’s someone else who deserves this more,'” said Sammie.
“Meanwhile, they’ve not got electricity at their house, or they’re hand-feeding 12,000 sheep – so many people that are in a fair bit of trouble that go ‘I’m sure someone else deserves this.'”
Sammie and Edwina urged the crowd at the Termo to check on each other and seek assistance when necessary.
By KEA BROWNING