Community op shop ball a unique idea

TRADITION will be thrown out the window when the Leeton Community Op Shop ball is held. 

The event will be a formal debutante ball, but there’s a unique aspect to the night. 

Many familiar faces will be taking part, including adults from the business community and students from Gralee School. 

The initial idea behind the event was to celebrate the op shop’s first anniversary, but it soon grew into something bigger.

One of the organisers of the event, Narelle Weymouth, said once students from Gralee signalled their intention to take part, it became a broader, more formal, community event. 

“It is our way of giving back to our community,” she said. 

“Over the last 12 months we have received amazing support, which has helped us to provide some fantastic services. 

“(However), we envision more for our future and this event will help us to fundraise to make those (goals) eventuate.” 

All of the money raised on the night will go directly back to the op shop, which isn’t just a store. 

There are many other services provided at the op shop, including welfare, social, bringing the community together and more. 

The future is looking bright for the op shop and it’s important work, with the ball set to highlight that by bringing residents of all ages and backgrounds together to make their debut. 

In the past year the op shop has undertook other fundraising efforts to ensure it can serve the community well. More than 250 people have been personally helped, including families through a variety of means. 

The op shop relies on its fundraising efforts as it receives no government funding. The community ball night will be a celebration and a chance for everyone to let their hair down. 

Well-known band Jiakomo Thief will provide the entertainment, which will ensure the dance floor is full to the brim all night. Dancers from Renee Sloan’s Bella Body and Soul studio will also perform. 

Mrs Sloan has also been teaching the debutantes their dance for the event and she will partner one of the students from Gralee on the night. 

Feedback has already been positive about the event and, while it is yet to be held, organisers are already considering holding it against next year. 

“A lot of work has gone into making this night come to fruition and we hope the community comes along to reap the benefits, as well as to continue to support our venture,” Mrs Weymouth said. 

“We have received some amazing support from local businesses and we want to share that with the community. 

“Our social support service is funded by community support, so the more they support us, the more we support them.”

The ball will be held on June 3 at the Mia Function Centre at 7pm. Tickets are $25. To book call the store on 6953 5664.

Participants 

  • Narelle Weymouth (Leeton Community Op shop social services Manager – Matron of Honour partnered by Tommy Thompson (Murrumbidgee Irrigation)
  • Tammy Davies Gralee School – Partnered by Jacob Preston
  • Renee Sloan (Bella Body and Soul) – Partnered by Bryce Glennie (Gralee School)
  • Dion Henry (Gralee School) – Partnered by Luke Hevern
  • Sue Parker – Partnered by Buster Ryan (both Yanco Lions)
  • Karen Bradley – Partnered by Brian Munro (both Leeton Veterinary Hospital)
  • Leah Shelton – Partnered by Michael Ball (Photography by Leah)
  • Jessica Shelton – Partnered by Luke Parker (both L & J Integrated Services)
  • Tina Iannelli (Woolworths Petrol) – Partnered by Joe Iannelli
  • Toni Lamont (Hairy Corner) – Partnered by Greg Towers (Teerman’s Transport)
  • Samantha Gray (Good Start Early Learning Centre) – Partnered by Brendan Gray (Riverina Beef)
  • Christine Weymouth (Assumption Villa) – Partnered by Brian Walsh (Walsh Farms)
  • Jenny Smith (Leeton District Hospital) – Partnered by Jaymie Massey
  • Flower Girl – Emma Preston – Partnered by Ricky McWhinnie (both Gralee School)