Following on from the success of last year, one of the newest events on Toowoomba’s social calendar is bringing more glitz, glam and celebrities to 2019. The Garden City Gala announced Australia’s first Winter Olympics Gold Medallist Steven Bradbury would be its special guest speaker at this year’s event. Joining Bradbury at the event on Saturday 5 October is Resilience Speaker and Rezilium Director Kamal Sarma.

Eight men and three women take their lives every day in Australia, this statistic is tripled for those who live rurally. Garden City Gala Chairman Tom Blades said it was this statistic that continues to inspire the Gala committee. “Rural mental health is such a huge issue that often flies under the radar, so we wanted to give it the attention it deserves and open up discussions about the importance of reducing stigma” he said. “This year, we’re choosing to support the people who provide for us with all funds raised going to The Drought Angels and Toowoomba Hospital Foundation.”

Toowoomba Hospital Foundation CEO Alison Kennedy said “the guys did such an amazing job last year raising awareness and funds for mental health and we couldn’t be more chuffed to be chosen for 2019,” she said. “It’s really important that we continue to look local when it comes to fundraising in our community, because you just never know who is going through a tough time. We’re very proud that we will be able to keep funds raised from Garden City Gala within the Darling Downs region, helping our farmers.”

Founding Director of Drought Angels, Natasha Johnston said the charity was honoured to be a beneficiary. “A major reason we began Drought Angels was because we kept hearing reports of families struggling to survive, some were shooting their stock – and worse. The drought is not over yet and it’s incredibly hard for families on the land to go on at times,” she said. Every dollar we raise goes directly to helping farmers to keep going; it’s a thankyou from all of us for all that our farmers do.”

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