December 6, 2018
If you missed the inaugural Red Pitch event in Kingaroy of Tuesday night, you missed a few odd sights – such as South Burnett Mayor Keith Campbell and Deputy Mayor Kathy Duff hopping about like kangaroos …
Or former Australian Test cricketer Carl Rackemann taking three attempts to bowl a camera lens cap out a wide-open door …
Or former South Burnett councillor Damien Tessmann refusing point blank to kiss the feet of compere John Carey.
We could say the highlight of the night was Council’s Economic Development Officer Kristy Board painting the Mayor’s lips bright red with lippy. Or perhaps the Mayor planting those recently reddened lips on the cheek of Cr Duff …
But the real highlight of the night was the amount of money raised for two local good causes.
The Red Pitch night was a fun experiment by the Red Earth Community Foundation to bring a crowd-funding “pitch” event to the South Burnett for the first time.
The aim was to bridge the gap between “those who want to give” and people who have worthy projects that need funding.
Two organisations were invited to “pitch” their ideas to an audience gathered in the main hall at SBcare.
Red Earth made sure there was plenty of food (and wine) on hand to keep the crowd happy as the pitches were made.
Jane Kennedy (with help from fellow musician Andrew Maddern) pitched the idea of a series of free workshops to be hosted by the South Burnett Community Orchestra in 2019 to help people rediscover their musical talents.
Beck Cross (with help from Centacare Family Relationship Service’s Erin Jeffs) pitched the idea of “She Can Rebuild”, a series of small skills workshops (such as woodworking) designed to build confidence and skills in women, particularly those involved in Centacare’s outreach programs.
The Red Earth experiment seems to have worked.
An amazing $5100 was raised on the night for the South Burnett Community Orchestra project (including an anonymous donation of $2500).
An equally incredible $4300 was raised for the Centacare project, a result that had co-ordinator Erin Jeffs wiping away tears.
And southburnett.com.au understands some more donations were made to Red Earth after the official photographs were taken.
Some of the 40 pledges on the night were made as the result of dares from the audience.
It was these challenges that led to the lip-stick prank and the fun with a lens cap.
But not all challenges were taken up.
Cr Duff could not convince the Mayor to say out loud “the Deputy Mayor is far more important than the Mayor” (all the camera phones and video cameras pointed at him probably didn’t help).
And John Carey flatly refused to sing …
(Mayor Campbell passed the singing test.)
Other money raised on the night came from the Red Earth Community Foundation itself.
Dollar amounts were put on slips on paper and randomly distributed around the audience. The audience member could decide which “pitch” would earn the cash.
Red Earth Community Foundation chair Georgie Somerset said she hoped the night would inspire the audience to start thinking about some new “challenges” to make at next year’s event.
* * *
The Red Pitch event also doubled as the Annual General Meeting of Red Earth Community Foundation South Burnett Ltd.
Chair Georgie Somerset said the flagship event for the Foundation was still the South Burnett Community Leadership Program, which had been running for six years with residential workshops at the Bunya Mountains.
“We now have had 103 people that we have been able to invest in as community leaders,” she said.
The alumni from this program are also invited to attend regular workshops and during the past year, had the opportunity to attend two study tours: one to learn more about social enterprises in Toowoomba, and the second a visit to State Parliament and the ABC studios in Brisbane.
Income for the Foundation for the year was $54,384 and expenses $45,457.
Directors are Karen Seiler, John Carey, Mandy Bishop, Carl Rackemann and Kristy Frahm; Sarah Vanderkolk and Ros Heit recently resigned from the Board.
Expressions of interest would be put out in the New Year for people who would like to become a Director.
Mrs Somerset acknowledged another group of people who have also really helped Red Earth during the past year: Tina Torrens and Kylie van Schyndel (Torkit Solutions), Stephanie Denman, Kirstie Schumacher (Stanwell) and Jules Entwistle.
The successful applicants for the 2019 Community Leadership Program were also announced on the night.