Lismore City Concert Band director Ben van Kleef and Reverend Bob Rutherford from the Lismore Uniting Church will be rocking out at the No Room At The Inn charity concert next Monday.
Lismore City Concert Band director Ben van Kleef and Reverend Bob Rutherford from the Lismore Uniting Church will be rocking out at the No Room At The Inn charity concert next Monday.

Musicians on a charity mission

The global financial crisis has hit many people hard, increasing the pressure on welfare services like the Lismore Regional Mission, which has literally gone broke.

Reverend Bob Rutherford is asking for Lismore’s help to swell their welfare coffers and ensure people doing it tough this Christmas and throughout January will not be turned away.

Reverend Bob has gathered together a willing group of local bands and musicians to host the second No Room At The Inn charity concert next Monday, December 21, at the Lismore Showground.

The first concert last year was attended by more than 1000 people and raised a significant chunk of money for the homeless shelter. However, with the Winsome now up and running providing crisis accommodation, Reverend Bob said they needed funds to help other disadvantaged people in the community, the number of which was steadily rising.

“It’s the people on the fringe of our community who comes through our door for help. They might be homeless, they might have a mental illness or they might even be single parents who are struggling,” Reverend Bob said. “We would normally see an increase in the number of people needing help from mid-December to late January, but we’ve seen that commence in October and run right through to February in the last couple of years. The number of cases we’ve had to deal with has increased to the extent that we’ve depleted our regular income for food parcels, bus and rail tickets for people needing to get to appointments, and accommodation. It’s not just a case of there’s no room at the inn – the inn has no money.

“We’re desperately hoping Monday’s concert will change that.”

Reverend Bob said he hoped the wider community would dig deep and join the generous members of the Lismore Uniting Church who help keep the Lismore Regional Mission’s welfare service operating.

“The Lismore Regional Mission doesn’t get any government funding, we rely on donations from our congregations and fundraising events, but our congregations are ageing and some of them are self-funded retirees who have been caught up in the financial crisis and can now give much less than they could in past,” Reverend Bob said. “Generally, people are finding it harder, their dollar’s just not going far enough, so we have the double whammy of less donations but more people needing help.”

The No Room At The Inn charity concert is on next Monday, December 21, at the Lismore Showgrounds from 7pm. The concert will feature performances by the Perch Creek Family Jugband, Black Train, the Lismore City Concert Band, country music singer Dennis ‘Dingo’ Dryden, Liora Claff, John Kelly, Ron Law and many others.

Entry is $5 per head or $10 for a family and the Show Society will have a BBQ selling food and refreshments. This is a family-friendly, alcohol free gig and everyone is welcome.


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