The power to help
By JULIA ILES
EVERY year Country Energy works co-ordinator Ron Hambly and his mates do something quite rare for this day and age.
They work for free.
All of their wages on certain jobs go to Camp Quality to assist childhood cancer sufferers.
"Tom (Strickland, Camp Quality area manager) comes and tells us a story, you only need to hear one story and it makes you go to work the next day, we do it solely for the kids," Mr Hambly said.
"There's not many of the stories that turn out good, but that's why we do it, to give them hope and we'll keep doing it.
"The last job we did was a big one and we had to stand 23 poles, I'd like to thank Country Energy management too, as they cover our equipment and fuel."
Mr Strickland yesterday accepted a cheque for $39,671 from the men.
"It started in 1989 and the men at the Field Service Centre Grafton depot decided they would do a job for me, one Saturday and raised $3000. They've been carrying on that tradition annually ever since," he said.
"Due to the competitive market they are able to take on a contrac- tual job and donate the wage component of the contract to Camp Quality.
"Their fundraising has now reached a quarter of a million, every year we look for the cheque as it is the biggest fundraiser we've ever had on a long-term basis."
Country Energy managing director Craig Murray said the staff at the Field Service Centre in Grafton were very community minded.
"The program is quite unique and very, very special and they require little or no encouragement," he said.
Mr Strickland is retiring from his position after 21 years and will be replaced by Lynne Parnell.