Strong wool market drives charity auction record

A NEW record was set at the annual charity wool auction held by Quality Wool in Melbourne this week, when sales raised more than $75,000 for Ronald McDonald House Westmead in Sydney.

Buoyed by a flourishing wool market and a delay in the sale fixture this year that helped increase growers’ wool donations for the auction to some 14,000 kilograms, or 93 bales, the total funds raised, including other final sales, hit $77,000, easily surpassing last year’s figure of just over $55,000.

The wool was put under the hammer at the Australian Wool Exchange’s southern selling centre, with Victoria Wool Processors once again one of the major buyers of the offering.

The company has been a strong supporter of the sale since the inaugural charity auction in 2013.

Paul Ferronato, with Victoria Wool Processors, said the company was pleased to participate in an event that raised funds for such a great cause.

He said the company’s wool purchases from the auction were earmarked for the Korean knitwear market.

The Quality Wool charity auctions have now raised more than $225,000 for the “home away from home’’ that supports families with seriously ill children attending The Children’s Hospital Westmead.

New South Wales Operations Manager Chris Scott said the company was thrilled with the result and he wished to thank all growers who donated wool towards the auction from throughout the State’s Riverina and Central and Western regions.

“Our wool drive for Ronald McDonald House Westmead was again well supported and with the delayed auction timing this year, it was great to see a number of new growers donating wool,’’ Chris said.

“We had donations come in from around our stores at Parkes, Orange, Wagga Wagga and Condobolin, as well as from near Oberon, up through Dubbo, Gilgandra and Coonamble, and down to Grenfell and Young.’’

Quality Wool visited farms to pick up donated wool and clean out sheds for growers and it pressed and auctioned the wool free of charge. The Australian Wool Testing Authority also tested the wool for free, ensuring all proceeds would go to Ronald McDonald House Westmead.

Chris said the company was looking forward to thanking growers for their donations and support at a special celebratory event to be held at its Parkes store next Thursday evening.

Ronald McDonald House Westmead Executive Officer Belinda Woolford said she was amazed with the auction and total funds raised, and thanked growers for their generous support and Quality Wool for coordinating the event.

“The community support is phenomenal and it just keeps getting bigger year after year,’’ Belinda said.

“Quality Wool keeps in touch with us on the wool drive through the year and it’s fantastic that the company and people want to support the families who use the house.

“People more and more are finding out about others who have utilised our programs or the house and understand how much it is necessary.’’

She said Ronald McDonald House Westmead hoped to open a new $33 million house in early 2018 and so the funds would prove valuable towards this and the organisation’s ongoing operations.