3 October 2014

Check out what our amazing volunteers are doing for chaplaincy

Posted in Chaplaincy

A Garden and Lifestyle Expo raising funds for chaplaincy!

We have amazing volunteers on all our Local Chaplaincy Committees (LCCs).

They are people like you, who want to see young people supported and cared for. These volunteers run countless fundraisers every year – events like sausage sizzles, community dances, and movie plus dessert nights.

This year, Samford and Mount Samson’s LCC is running the first annual Garden and Lifestyle Expo. It’s the first of what will become an annual event growing from year to year. The goal is to inspire and excite both new and experienced gardeners, and for people to just enjoy the atmosphere.

We spoke to one of the key minds behind the event, Julie Sanderson, who is chair of Samford’s LCC.

Where did the idea come from?

“The idea was started by the previous chair Chris Ellis who, as well as being an amazing man, is a mad-keen gardener. He always envisioned a garden expo. After the High Court challenge, we started discussing, how we could get our LCC to create a funding model that did not rely on government funding. This way, we could be exempt from any government funding issues and our community’s access to a chaplain would not be jeopardised by finances. We were looking for permanent funding solutions and, out of those discussions, we are very excited to see it come to life.”

Is the event supported by the local council and community?

“The Moreton Bay Council provided the seed money for the project. They also provided a council employee, Jason, who is in charge of their event management. He was really supportive and helpful in giving advice on the event planning. Fortunately for us, the local councillor Bob Millar is actually on our Expo Committee.

The whole Moreton Bay Council region is quite an odd layout. It runs from Redcliffe to Samford. We’re like the region’s ‘country cousin’ and they are really supportive of us. Our community travelled to attend their Redcliffe Kite Festival in September, so we are hoping for the same reciprocal support.”

 Are there a lot of volunteers involved to put on an event of this scale?

“Yes, indeed. There are about a dozen (12-14) members on the LCC. There will also be around 20 people on food preparation on the day. We have partnered with other organisations, such as the Samford Men’s Shed and the Samford Rotary, which will provide at least 20 volunteers as well. We wanted it to benefit others where possible.

There are two separate LCCs – Samford (with a school of 800) created the idea and they invited Mount Samson (with a school of 200) to be apart of it. Historically, the Samford LCC helped form the Mount Samson LCC, so we want to stay connected and support each other.

We also have volunteers in the form of a graphic designer for a logo and a web designer for the website (and the space).”

Tell us about your chaplain?

“We have a fantastic chaplain, Mel, who is five days a week, so we are very lucky. Our 800 kids and teachers have access to her all the time. The previous principal said ‘I would say 80% of my staff saw the chaplain over the last 12 months.

I have been involved in the LCC for two years – it has been operating for six or seven years and has worked towards being able to support a fulltime chaplain.

At the moment we have another great chaplain, Charlie, who is filling in for Mel while she is on maternity leave.

What is your hope for this event into the future?

“This year we have 60 exhibitors, but are hoping to grow that to 200 in 10 years. Our aim is to be the new standard of Garden Show in Brisbane.

This event is to ensure chaplains are cared for financially so it is viable in the future for chaplains to keep caring and nurturing the Samford community. All people can flourish when people are cared for. What is seen in Queensland schools each day is the care chaplains show and give to all students, staff, parents and the wider community.

This event is part of  our long-term strategic plan for our LCCs to become self-sufficient.”

Key Details

  • When: October 25-26
  • Where: Samford Showground – Showgrounds Drive Highvale
  • Cost: Entry is $10 per adult  Accompanying children 18 or under are free!
  • The goal is to raise money for two Local Chaplaincy Committees – Samford and Mount Samson.
  • The funds are raised by having a fee for exhibitors as well as a ticket price.
  • There will be over 60 exhibitors.
  • Expectation of 3,000 people to attend over the weekend.
  • You won’t get hungry with lots of coffee and cake stalls.

If you’re nearby, make sure you attend this wonderful event, which hopes to inspire people to Live – Dream – Do.

You can find further information at www.samfordgardenexpo.com.au



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