Rotary spring exhibition falls short of the target
By TOBY WALKER
HOT winds and temperatures that soared into the high 30s conspired to drive numbers down for the first day of the Maclean Rotary Spring Exhibition at Maclean Showground on the weekend.
Maclean Rotary's president-elect and expo co-ordinator John Wells estimated around 1000 people passed through the gates for the two-day event, around half the number that turned out for the hugely successful 2004 exhibition.
Mr Wells believed a combination of factors contributed to the downturn in patrons.
Last year, Maclean Rotary directed the proceeds collected through gate donations towards the Maclean District Hospital's campaign to have a helipad built.
The hospital's eventual triumph in receiving funding for the helipad owed much to the widespread support of the Maclean community and events like the Maclean Rotary exhibition.
This year Maclean Rotary had planned to use donations to purchase vital equipment for the hospital and its associated charities, including the Stoker family appeal.
The numbers may have been down but Mr Well's was still happy to report that many of the people who did make it to the showground gave generously, donating more than the suggested gold coin donation.
And those who did attend were treated to Rotary Maclean's largest spring exhibition yet, all put together by a dedicated team of around 30 members who had been working behind the scenes.
The Rotary book sale ? something of an institution these days on the Lower River ? drew interest.
Mr Well's said it was also great to see an eclectic and wide-ranging showcase of the hobbies enjoyed by the people of the Clarence Valley.
Despite his disappointment at the smaller crowds, Mr Well's remained optimistic that the expo ? now in its third year ? would become a fixture on the Lower River's event calendar.