Ballina RSL Bowling Club staff (from left) Mark Geyer, Narelle Campbell and Steve Foster rally to support their mate, Theo van Dartel, whose family home in Alstonville burned down last year.
Ballina RSL Bowling Club staff (from left) Mark Geyer, Narelle Campbell and Steve Foster rally to support their mate, Theo van Dartel, whose family home in Alstonville burned down last year. The Northern Star

Big 'kitty' fires mates drive home

THE Anzac spirit of mateship is shining through the Ballina RSL Club staff.

Club staff have organised a fundraising garage sale and family bowls day on Sunday, June 22, to support their mate and co-worker Theo van Dartel and his family, whose Alstonville home burned down this year.

Mark Geyer, a greenkeeper at the Ballina RSL Bowling Club, is one of a small group of staff behind the effort to help Theo, who has two young children.

Theo has worked at the bowlo for close to 20 years and Mark has known him for 18 years, saying he is 'well-liked'.

When news came through of Theo's loss, the staff of the club rallied into action and began collecting goods for the garage sale and asking local businesses to provide prizes for a fundraising raffle.

It was a case of staff wanting to help their mate.

"You wouldn't want to see it (the fire) happen to anyone," Mark said.

The Ballina East Lions Club helped by providing a stall site for the club staff at the Ballina market last month and selling raffle tickets.

Already the appeal has raised $1600.

On Sunday, the fundraising garage sale will be held at the Ballina RSL Bowling Club car park in Canal Road from 8am.

From 12.30pm, you can register to have a roll-up on the greens for a gold coin donation, with the games starting at 1pm.

A disco will run from 4pm for the youngsters, and there will be face-painting as well. The event will finish about 7pm.

Club staff are appealing to the community to support one of their own whose family lost everything in the fire.

Raffles also will be held throughout the day.


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