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Doing it for the RFS heroes: Mama Mia fundraiser a big success

The cast of Mamma Mia reunited for a concert version of 14 hits of last year's musical at the RFS fundraising concert on Tuesday night. Picture: Andrew Messenger.
The cast of Mamma Mia reunited for a concert version of 14 hits of last year's musical at the RFS fundraising concert on Tuesday night. Picture: Andrew Messenger.

Lindy Alt didn't think they'd get "remotely" close to raising $10,000 at the Glen Innes RFS fundraising concert.

"I thought that if we were really, really, really fortunate, we might get to the $6000."

But with a packed out hall of 161, the better part of 800 raffle tickets, and the assistance of an anonymous donor, the dance instructor today confirmed they'd made it.

Every red cent will go to the region's 13 RFS Brigades.

But despite some technical hiccups covered up by some practiced vamping by Glen Innes Arts Council president Nigel Brown, the all-singing, all-dancing gig hit its target.

Between the cast of hit local musical Mamma Mia, local trio the Abbeys, singer Catie Turner and guitarist Dylan McKean, and many more, the concert surely couldn't have left a soul asking for more.

Lindy, just one of several organisers of the show, said the financial achievement was "phenomenal".

"I think it's a reminder of why we all live in a small place. When the cause is like this and it's close to all of us (Glen gives back)," she said.

"Jennifer and Brendan (Mackenzie) are just over the moon. They're very, very genuine kids."

In 2016 Jennifer needed thousands of dollars to join the choir the West of the Divide on tour to Europe. At a benefit concert, residents of Glen Innes raised over $6000 to help out.

This concert was her way of returning the favor.

"The community has been really good to (Jennifer) over the past 3-4 years and she's really conscious of it; she's always tried to give back.

"It was really important to her to leave having done something good for the people who helped her get to her dream."

Lindy Alt said people dug deep because the cause was so close to home.

"It wasn't just another show.

"We all watched it happen all around us; we all know people who were either fighting or losing homes or trapped in storms."

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RFS commander Chris Wallbridge opened the night by putting the season's campaign fire in context.

"For us it's gone for two and a half years. We haven't stopped - with the drought it's getting worse and worse and worse.

"Really 2019 is a year we've (prefer) never happen again."

Could Glen Innes give even more to the bushfire heroes that saved so many homes and lives? Lindy thinks there's room for another benefit gig; they could have sold nearly three times as many tickets, she said.

"It possibly could, possibly in a different format," she said.

"Perhaps the next time we could do it to go towards the people who've lost their homes and that sort of thing.

"We just thought with two weeks there wasn't enough time to raise the sort of money that would make a difference in those circumstances whereas a little bit might go a long way with a brigade."