Baptist Church Free Family Fun Day a success

Bundaberg Baptist Church Free Family Fun Day
Bundaberg Baptist Church members Thomas Raftaut, senior pastor Richard Cathie and Laura Cathie enjoy welcoming families to the Bundaberg Baptist Church Free Family Fun Day.

Cotton candy, popcorn, laughter, smiles and perfect weather were on show at the Bundaberg Baptist Church Free Family Fun Day on Saturday.

Hundreds of Bundaberg families took up the offer to attend the second annual event with some so eager they arrived before the gates opened.

Bundaberg Baptist Church senior pastor Richard Cathie said with the weather in perfect form he expected thousands of community members to pass through the gates.

“With the weather blowing through – God blessed us all with a bit of rain last night and we hope to continue that today with this gift to the community, with families who may not have had the easiest of times with the drought etc coming along and enjoying themselves,” he said.

“The main purpose for us is to give families who may not have been able to go to the show an opportunity to enjoy their time here.”

Pastor Richard said before the gates opened there had been 11,000 hits on the Facebook event page, and with word of mouth through the local chaplaincy network he expected people from out of town to make the effort to join in the fun and entertainment of the Free Family Fun Day.

“We know there are some families coming from Gin Gin and Agnes as the chaplaincy program extends that far,” he said.

“Last year we did this event, it was first held over 10 years ago and we thought we would restart it with the real focus on it being free for everyone in the community.

“To do that we have had to put in some hard work and approach a lot of local businesses and organisations to make sure we could do it.”

Bundaberg Baptist Church Free Family Fun Day
Volunteering their time at the Bundaberg Baptist Church Free Family Fun Day were Sue Law, Angela Black, and Cindy and Paul Cornelissen serving Lorraine Rohdmann some pancakes.

Help in many ways

Pastor Richard said some local businesses were able to make monetary donations, while others like Barking Dog Coffee were set up and giving out free beverages to support the Bundaberg Baptist Free Family Fun Day.

He said this sort of community spirit gave him chills down his spine and it was comforting to know there were people like this in the Bundaberg Region.

“It’s not just in terms of dollars that people put in that give us support,” he said.

“The day wouldn’t have even been possible without the support of the local businesses, organisations and volunteers.”

Pastor Richard said initially there were 150 volunteers, but he expected that number to climb to 200 by the end of the day.

“At the end of the day everything here will be packed up in under one hour – and that’s only possible because of the volunteers and people who want to give back and help,” he said.

“We find people who came here and enjoyed the day, they’ve had a ride, had a sausage and a drink and then they put there hand up and ask how they can help – it’s just amazing!”

One young volunteer Laura Cathie was on the gate handing out balloons to children as they walked through and said she’d enjoyed helping organise the event and it was fantastic to be involved.

“I enjoy helping people and giving back to others and giving back to my community,” she said.

“It’s just really good to do stuff like this!”