Mingenew Midwest Expo donates $50,000 to Lord Mayor’s Distress Fund

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Mingenew Midwest Expo’s Jeremy Claphan and Andrew Cosgrove with Perth Lord Mayor Basil Zempilas.
Camera IconMingenew Midwest Expo’s Jeremy Claphan and Andrew Cosgrove with Perth Lord Mayor Basil Zempilas. Credit: Andrew Ritchie

The Mingenew Midwest Expo board has made the group’s biggest single-cause donation in the event’s 38-year history with the handing over of a $50,000 cheque to the Lord Mayor’s Distress fund.

Expo chair Andrew Cosgrove and finance manager Jeremy Clapham made the 360km journey to Perth from Mingenew last week to hand a giant novelty cheque to Lord Mayor Basil Zempilas.

The pair met Mr Zempilas at Footy Place at Forrest Chase, where he was busy promoting the AFL grand final at the public space adorned with Demons and Bulldogs colours and featuring appearances by football legends, live music and panel interviews.

Mr Cosgrove took to the microphone to explain to the hundreds-strong crowd of football fans what Expo was about and why they had decided to donate to the cause.

Each year, the Expo board calculates the value of the volunteers’ hours put in around the grounds or in the kitchens, and that money is allocated to a group of the volunteers’ choice.

It was the first time in several years the Expo had donated to a single cause rather than to split the proceeds among a handful of local community groups.

Mr Cosgrove said Mingenew and surrounding towns had been severely affected by cyclone Seroja, which tore through on April 11.

“It was a board decision, that this is not just the Mingenew Expo, it is the Mingenew Midwest Expo, and we wanted to help people across the Mid West,” he said.

“We wanted to present the cheque as a bit of fun and to get the word out there, that the Expo has a bit more pedal in the region than what we get credit for.

“Events like Mingenew Midwest Expo and other field days are important for the community, and not just the businesses involved.”

Mr Zempilas said he was overwhelmed when he heard Expo had raised $50,000 for the cause.

“It is a fantastic effort to raise a substantial amount of money and know that it is helping to assist the very community you live in,” he said.

The Lord Mayor’s Distress Fund has so far disbursed $6 million to people hurt by cyclone Seroja, with more than 300 people receiving funding.

More than $7.6 million has been raised through the Tropical Cyclone Seroja Appeal, which closed late last month.

After an “incredibly busy” few months, Mr Cosgrove said Mingenew locals were having a spell and getting back on with their personal lives while preparing for harvest.

“We’re really hoping it will be a good harvest for everyone,” he said.

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