Tag Archive for: Cootamundra

Member for Coota Steph Cooke with Right: Tania Baldock has recognised the extraordinary fundraising efforts of local Cootamundra resident Jason Baldock (Pictured centre), who raised vital funds for those suffering from cancer by chopping off his trademark dreadlocks.

Ms Cooke presented Jason with a Community Service Award, after he raised $110,330 for Cootamundra Can Assist. “I was so pleased to present Jason with this special award for his outstanding dedication to raising money for Can Assist,” Ms Cooke said. “Jason’s decision to part with his cherished dreadlocks – which he had been growing for several years – to raise funds for those facing difficult circumstances, certainly captured the attention and admiration of the community.

“His efforts will have such a positive impact on the lives of those impacted by cancer. “His commitment to this endeavour demonstrates the power of one individual to effect change, and inspire others to get involved in similar charitable causes. “Jason’s dedication to supporting Can Assist is truly in- spiring, and I was pleased to be able to acknowledge his extraordinary efforts through this very special award,” she said.


✂️Chop the Mop✂️ is all done! Jason’s beloved dreadlocks are now in a bag. Over $110,000 raised for Can Assist Cootamundra. Absolutely unbelievable what Jason Baldock and Tania Baldock have done and the enormous effort they have gone to to raise these funds. The story behind why this started pulls on your heart strings! Bloody amazing! Watch now!

After experiencing symptoms that resembled low blood sugar, Jon from Cootamundra suffered a seizure and was diagnosed with brain cancer.

Over the course of the next 18 months, Jon endured 2 separate surgeries (both in Sydney which is around 800km return), 2 separate bouts of radiotherapy (one in Sydney and one in Wagga Wagga), and a course of chemotherapy. Jon and Dani traveled more than 8,000km in trips back and forth to Sydney and many hundreds more back and forth to Wagga Wagga. In addition, they were required to fund around 10 weeks of accommodation in Sydney.

Not only did Jon stop working, but so too did his wife Dani, who has been his carer. The financial impacts were devastating. With no income coming in, bills quickly added up. It was then they met Colleen – the treasurer of the local Can Assist Cootamundra branch. The family had never heard of IPTAAS (the NSW government-funded travel and accommodation subsidy scheme), had not collected any of the appropriate signatures nor had they retained any receipts. Whilst Can Assist helped them to lodge the government claim, there were many excess bills left over to pay. Can Assist provided multiple petrol vouchers, paid for their accommodation in Sydney, and contributed toward multiple out-of-pocket medical expenses; both for treatments and pharmaceuticals.

Being an ex-pat from California, Jon says – “In the States, being self-employed, this tumor could have been a death sentence” and further that “If it were not for Can Assist, we would have needed to sell our house to afford treatment…. we can’t thank Can Assist enough”

Les Carr, a committed supporter of Can Assist, has been awarded the Australian Fire Service Medal in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours List — this is the highest honor a firefighter can receive. Fire Commissioner Paul Baxter congratulated Captain Carr for playing an integral part in protecting his local community and surrounding areas. “During the 2019/20 Black Summer Bushfires, Captain Carr provided critical leadership to his firefighters in extremely difficult conditions.”

“He is committed to protecting both the mental wellbeing and physical safety of his crew at all times.”

Cootamundra Can Assist has been selling plum puddings for Christmas throughout town. On-street stalls and by order, they have attracted attention as part of preparations for the Festive Season. Our final fundraising for the year will be the Christmas Street Stall on December 17. The usual huge spread of baked goods, Christmas gift items and plants will fill the stall.

Catering Coordinator Jason Carroll with volunteer Murray Izzard outside IGA on Friday.

The familiar smell of the Can Assist barbecue can once again be experienced outside IGA as restrictions ease to allow the charity to get back to fundraising.

At the height of restrictions all fundraising except for donations ceased, putting a dent in the incoming monies of the organisation – an issue faced by charities across the country.

Outgoing costs however remained as Can Assist continued to provide financial assistance to those affected by cancer during the pandemic.

Cootamundra residents sniffing out a sausage sizzle can get their fix every second Friday outside IGA.

Can Assist volunteers are also back behind the barbecue at the Cootamundra Saleyards during their fortnightly sheep sale providing take-away fare for agents and other necessary personnel – another fundraising avenue which temporarily closed during the height of Covid19 infections earlier this year.


Mavis selling at the trading table

Early September saw the return of Bingo to the Cootamundra Ex-servicemen’s Club. The first occasion was in aid of Can Assist. Of course, Covid-19 restrictions saw a reduced participation. Those who booked, did so very, very promptly, so the night was a sell-out, a definite indication of the popularity of this event.

Robyn serving another member, Kay. There was a huge supply of cakes to sell

Can Assist want to thank all who attended and who were very generous in their donations, purchases from the cake stall and purchases of raffle tickets. Helen Eccleston won the $50 Fuel Card prize in the raffle and over-all, the night brought in just on $1,000 for Can Assist funds.

Colleen and Pam (caller and member) taking a quick break

Thanks also goes to Megan Sawyer, new Manager of the Club, for her sterling work in seeing to the organisation in the new venue (which worked very well) and under Covid-19 rules and regulations. Also, thanks to Greg Bruce, past Manager, for popping in to see that we were all enjoying ourselves. A wonderful night was had by all.