Garlic festival helper plea

VOLUNTEERS are desperately needed if the Koonya Garlic Festival is to go ahead next year.

An AGM will be held on Saturday August 21, at 10 am at the Koonya Hall.

Vice president Ella Hoban-Kelleher said she was hoping to get a committee together so that work could start on bringing the festival back.

“Unfortunately for reasons unrelated to the festival, a number of our volunteers will not be able to continue their roles on the committee this year, myself included,’’ Ms Hoban-Kelleher said.

“It seems that there is a lot of community interest in the return of the festival, but I am concerned that if we don’t get the numbers we need for the committee that the future of the festival may be at risk.

“It would be such a shame for this to happen, particularly because we were recently awarded a large grant from the Tasmanian Community Fund to purchase a big new marquee for the event, which was sadly unable to be used this year due to the cancellation of the festival.

“So aside from the obvious challenges posed by Covid-19 the festival has never been in a better position in terms of finances and infrastructure.

“We just need willing helpers to make it happen.’’

She said the festival was incredibly popular and a huge drawcard for the area. “We need a committee, we just don’t have enough bums on seats,’’ she said.

“There are seven positions and aside from that we need people to help volunteer on the day.

“We are all volunteers, we have our own jobs, businesses and responsibilities and there can be burn out.

“There are a whole lot of roles, in sponsorship, grant writing, marketing, infrastructure and compliance.

“It would be good to spread the load.’’ She said the marquee had been purchased with the $30,000 grant but had never been used.

“Its in a container ready to be used – we have never been in a better position financially or as far as equipment is concerned.’

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