Parents at Ariah Park Preschool have banded together to raise much needed funds while helping to protect the environment at the same time.
Over 9,330 empty agvet containers were collected by the school’s P&C Association under the drumMUSTER program, using a local collection point, set up in conjunction with Temora Shire Council.
“It’s been a pleasure working with the Ariah Park Preschool in their annual fundraising drive,” said regional drumMUSTER consultant Vernon Keighley. “The group has a passion to improve drum returns in the area and the number of containers collected is testament to their hard work and support for the program.”
Due to its remote location, fundraising events for the school are hard to make profitable.
“Being able to collect drums has alleviated some of the pressure put on parents to contribute to the longevity of the school,” said parent and drumMUSTER inspector Phil Davey.
“By offering a collection point at Ariah Park, farmers don’t have to drive the extra 30 or 40kms to other drumMUSTER sites.”
The school, which has been hit hard by state government funding cuts, also offers an on-farm pickup service for the collection of 200 drums or more.
“Many farmers have taken advantage of this option as it means one trip with a semi-trailer as opposed to several trips with a ute and trailer,” said Mr Davey. “We ask for a donation for this service and it has been a highly successful venture for the school.”
Fellow parent and organiser Lauren Dowling said, “We were very impressed with the amount of drums collected in our first year, with the final number exceeding our expectations. drumMUSTER is a beneficial initiative as it not only helps the environment, but returns funding directly to the rural community who participates in the program.”
The school raised $2,390 from their collection services last year, funding the installation of a solar hot water system and an interactive LED computer. In 2015, the preschool will use the money to develop a community garden.
drumMUSTER National Program Manager Allan McGann believes the children benefit greatly from the work of the P&C Association.
“In a small community such as Ariah Park, the dollars raised are vital. The parents are prepared to go to great lengths to improve facilities at the school and in turn they share in the responsibility for a more sustainable future in Australian agriculture.”
Ariah Park parents are involved in all aspects of carrying out the collection – from coordinating and liaising with chemical users to inspecting the drums upon delivery.
Ms Dowling said, “We look forward to strengthening our relationship with drumMUSTER and the recycling organisation Drums Go Round. Hopefully we can repeat the success of last year’s collection in 2015.”
Many parents have also discovered that drumMUSTER offers additional benefits.
“It’s a great way for fathers to get involved in fundraising,” said Mr Davey. “I don’t know many dads who can cook for their children’s street stalls, but I do know a lot of dads who are farmers and use chemicals in their work. This is a way that we can get involved and help our children.”
To find out when the next collection at Ariah Park is scheduled, contact Mr Davey on 0427545717. All containers presented at the collection site must be well rinsed so as to be free of any chemical residue.
To learn more about the drumMUSTER program, call 1800 008 007 or visit www.drummuster.com.au.