BIG DONORS: John Hendry from the Granite Belt Community Association accepts a cheque from Stanthorpe Sports Association president Colin Britton.
BIG DONORS: John Hendry from the Granite Belt Community Association accepts a cheque from Stanthorpe Sports Association president Colin Britton. Samantha Wantling

Sport backs split move

THE de-amalgamation train is still at full tilt with members of Stanthorpe's sporting fraternity coming together on Friday night for a dinner bash.

The Sportsman's Dinner drew more than 80 people to the International Club, with proceeds raised and donated from the event going to the Stanthorpe de-merger cause.

Organiser and chair of the Granite Community Association's fundraising committee, John Hendry, said it was a thrill to see so many team and club colours on show.

"If you were to ask me at the beginning, would I be happy with that many people, I would have been,” he said.

"We announced that we raised $18,620 on the night but it was actually $19,620 because the day after another association dropped in a donation of $1000.

"It's a quarter of the amount of money we need to investigate whether this whole thing is financially viable. I think the sportsman of Stanthorpe needed and wanted to pay back the community.

"This situation is bigger than the sporting arguments with the council, it's a whole community issue. I'm very happy they got in behind us,” Mr Hendry said.

The organisation have set a goal of $80,000 in order to investigate and conduct a financial and feasibility study into de-amalgamation.

They're not there, with their mid-October fundraising end date inching nearer, but Mr Hendry is confident they'll hit that figure soon.

"I believe we'd be at about $45,000-$50,000 now, once all money pledged comes to us.

"We're hoping that if everyone puts a little in we'll get there. We're doing it for the community and the community needs now to put a small amount in... we can't just rely on the corporate dollar.

"I'd like to make that target by mid-October, because we will know by the end of November whether we move forward or we say 'No, we can't afford it',” he said.

The fundraising committee will now reconvene and look to other avenues of raising money.

"As I said, it's really about everyone putting in a small amount. I think the community can do it without having to run events like Friday night.

"If everyone chips in it sends a message that the community wants it (de-amalgamation),” he said.

If you'd like to make a donation you can do so at Bendigo Bank. Account name: Granite Belt De-amalgamation; BSB: 633 000; Account: 163353014.

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