Bravo to a generous benefactor

IT'S not everyday you meet somebody who is prepared to put up $10,000 of their own money to help others.

But that's what Lismore car dealer Marty Clapps is doing to make sure a bunch of local Aboriginal rugby league players get the chance to participate in the annual Knockout competition.

The Echo was approached late last week to see if we could do a story about the team and their eleventh hour attempts to raise the funds needed to get down to Raymond Terrace. I said I was happy to help out by putting a story in the paper, but when I made a follow-up phone call on Tuesday to see how they were getting on, I found the situation was a lot less dire than it had been because of the generosity of Mr Clapps and his business Auto Top Trade.

I have been involved with a number of community organisations over the years and I have met people who give an extraordinary amount of time, energy and money to the particular causes they support. All of them would agree that giving is better than receiving.

Australia doesn't have the same culture of philanthropy that exists in other countries such as the USA, where the rich and famous love to be seen giving away their lucre.

According to Australian of the Year, Simon McKeon, the top end of town in Australia are some of the stingiest in the world. The mining boom has created more millionaires than ever before, but Mr McKeon (who works part time with Macquarie Bank so he can pursue interests such as the Global Poverty Project) said private wealth is not being distributed to philanthropic causes.Obviously not everybody is in a position to put their hand in their pocket and come up with $10,000, but it is often the case that those who have the least that give the most, comparatively.

Three cheers for people like Marty who do what they can to help others in the community.

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