No stopping Warwick’s most piguliar event
PIGS would fly before the Sandy Creek Pig Races organisers cancelled the annual fundraiser due to coronavirus concerns.
Despite federal regulation of all non-essential gatherings over 100 people, organiser Kev Kiley said precautions were in place for today's races, including a 1.5m social distancing rule, and that he still expected a big show of support for the combined fundraiser.
Money raised at the 11th annual Sandy Creek Pub event would go towards the Wheatvale State School P & C, LifeFlight and the Warwick branch of the Cancer Council.
"Normal figures would be about 300 people so if we get somewhere close to that in the current environment, we'll be pretty happy," Mr Kiley said.
"It certainly has an effect but you have a civic duty to look after people."
The event was started by Jodie Crowley, whose granddaughter Summer was born 13 weeks premature and needed LightFlight services to get her to Brisbane.
Mr Kiley, who himself needed LifeFlight to help get a pacemaker fitted in 2013, said the organisation were real "lifesavers".
"I wouldn't be standing here talking if it wasn't for them," he said.
"It's unbelievable. It costs about $13,000 for one journey so you can imagine they do a fair few trips just over the course of a week."
Cancer Council also got involved after longtime sponsor Ray Bunch, from Ray Bunch Machinery, put it forward.
"Ray Bunch lost his wife years ago and it's a subject fairly close to his heart," Mr Kiley said.
For the 50 students at Wheatvale State School, the money made the world of difference, according to P & C member Helen Lewis.
"It boosts the ability for us to give back to the school, to let the kids go on excursions," she said.
"In the past it's even helped teachers by giving them the support to buy teaching resources."
On average, the event would raise $15,000 from raffles and betting and Mr Kiley hoped the community would once more open their hearts and wallets for the cause.
"Over the years we've been going, we've raised close to $6 million which is unreal but this particular event, the community just gets behind it, our sponsors get behind it, it's just fantastic," he said