After a lot of research, Pete Stacey decided to form a Canowindra branch of the Country Education Foundation (CEF) in 2018. It was established to provide much needed financial assistance and support to local youth to help them achieve their post high school education, training and vocation aspirations. The group recognises that the cost to rural students pursuing their post high school goals is often much greater than those of their metropolitan counter-parts and that sometimes, these costs can be prohibitive.
With this in mind, CEF Canowindra fundraises throughout the year and accepts donations from local residents and businesses in order to provide financial grants to students who need an extra helping hand. The funds come directly from the local community with no government funding. The group has given out nearly $70,000 to 40 students and are not slowing down, planning a short film festival in April.
Saturday night, the CEF held its first fundraiser for the year – five hours of entertainment by esteemed homegrown talent. The crowd of 700 people enjoyed headline act, ARIA-nominated Gordi, along with Cranbury Jam (a local high school cover band), Bonny Rai, Ben Nash (formerly of 78 Saab) and the much-loved local legend Joe Wythes.
The committee is grateful for the help of many people and groups, including Rosnay Organic Wines, Windowrie Wines, Wallington Wines and Haydon Jobson from the Canowindra Bottle Shop for providing refreshments with Jack Beath co-ordinating the can bar on behalf of the Canowindra Pythons Rugby Club, along with Sarah Grant’s catering. Thanks also to Eleena Markcrow, Oli Statham and Pete Starr who worked hard to create a smooth and enjoyable night. Other generous supporters were AKJ Haulage for the stage, Cabonne Council, Canowindra Pony Club, Canowindra Showground Society and Ian Guihot for the taxi services donated and the community of Canowindra.