A charity race day held at Scone Race Club and attended by Upper Hunter members of the Australian Hotels Association (AHA) along with AHA Director of Liquor and Policing John Green, has raised more than $11,000 for community organisation Where there's a Will, which supports local youth struggling with mental health issues.
The not-for-profit organisation was established in 2016 by parents Pauline and Hilton Carrigan after their son Will took his own life at just 24 years of age.
The organisation aims to address significant mental health issues facing the community by supporting schools to build positive learning communities that embed the teaching of resilience and well-being in their curriculum and in their schools.
"Ian Campbell, who runs the Willow Tree Hotel at Scone, first approached us about holding an event in support of Where there's a Will because he could see the impact the organisation was having on this community and he felt that with the AHA's reach, the organisation would be well promoted and people would gain a greater understanding of what it's about and prevention in regard to mental health issues," Pauline Carrigan said.
"This race day in particular has been very beneficial for us as an organisation with Scone being the horse capital, and so for us racing is a very special day and I love that publicans across the broader community have come out to support us.
"Every town that we are working in has a school in it, and it also has a pub, so it's really great that these pubs are supporting Where's there's a Will and it's creating a great conversation between all of us."
"Every town that we are working in has a school in it, and it also has a pub, so it's really great that these pubs are supporting Where's there's a Will and it's creating a great conversation between all of us..."
The event was attended by Upper Hunter hoteliers from Scone, Murrurundi, Gundy, Moonan, Sandy Hollow, Denman, Muswellbrook, Aberdeen, Singleton and Merriwa.
AHA NSW donated $1,000 to the cause and also organised raffles and auctions to help raise money on the day.
"Pubs are the life blood of local communities, so it was great to be part of the Scone race day where Upper Hunter hotels dug deep to raise money for “Where there’s a Will” - a charity educating youth on mental health issues," AHA Director of Liquor and Policing John Green said.