Rollonin Country Fair supports families fighting cancer

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COMMUNITY: Yass Valley CanAssist’s major fundraising event, The Country Fair, is on this Sunday at Rollonin Cafe in Bowning.

The popular cafe offers diners the quaint atmosphere of yesteryear inside its heritage hut with newspapered walls, hessian ceiling and Devonshire teas.

And then there’s Mac, the resident Clydesdale, who is happy to greet visitors who come to his fence nearby.

Owner Renata Ryan is a proud supporter of Yass CanAssist,  and has been offering up the grounds for the local charity to fill with stalls and family-oriented activities the third Sunday in November since 2011.

Her own family has felt the supportive hand of Yass CanAssist during her late husband Tony Ryan’s cancer treatment.

“Renata’s husband Tony passed away in 2012 after a six-year battle with melanoma,” CanAssist’s Geoff Frost said.

“Tony, Renata and their friend John Elliot started building the Rollonin café at Bowning in 2005. Tony, Renata and their fabulous family built a thriving business from nothing that employs locals and gives great pleasure to travellers and visitors,” he said.

“If Tony constructed the building and started the business, then it has been Renata who has built the business and made it mature and prosper; she is an astute businesswoman and a loud advocate for Bowning and for CanAssist.”

“Renata and Tony sponsored the first CanAssist Country Fair at the Rollonin in 2011 and Renata has continued to hold them every November since then.”

The fair will feature archery with Bowning’s world champion archers Stuart and Frances Atkins, live music, exhibitions of shearing, antique weapons, farm machinery as well as food, raffles and lots of ways to help CanAssist while you have fun.

Renata said it will go ahead come rain, hail or shine.

“We’re hoping to get as many people as possible come out, the more people in the gate, the more people can assist will get from us,” she said.

“There will be about 40 market stalls with face painting, wool shearing, spinning, farm machinery, an old gun display from the musket days, the Dulux Paints shaggy dog will be visiting, perhaps Yass FM, and some old vintage motorbikes.” Snail races and secret auctions will also be held on the day.

They are hoping to break their all-time record and surpass their $12,000 effort of 2011.

“We’ve got he Melanoma Man coming from Sydney too.”

Geoff said after years of supporting the organisation by organising events and selling books for CanAssist, two years ago Renata agreed to join the committee and now contributes to CanAssist on a broader scale.

It’s the practical help CanAssist offers that Renata sings praises for.

“People don’t understand it all goes back into the community with practical support, more so than research. People need the help now, not in five years time, that’s the difference.”

CanAssist Yass Valley Branch provides direct assistance to cancer patients from Yass Valley. It has assisted over 200 individual patients since it started over a decade ago.

Last year the Branch provided around $45,000 to local patients.

All CanAssist money is raised locally and spent locally, Geoff said.

“Over 97 per cent of all money raised by our branch is paid directly to meet the costs of patients.”

Rollonin Cafe owner Renata Ryan is hoping for a big turnout at the CanAssist Country Fair on Sunday. PHOTO: Supplied.

Rollonin Cafe owner Renata Ryan is hoping for a big turnout at the CanAssist Country Fair on Sunday. PHOTO: Supplied.

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