“What big eyes you have, Grandma…”

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So now the countdown begins for one of our biggest fundraising events, the CWA Tea Room at the 2014 Royal Easter Show, which opens on 10April and continues until 23 April, 2014.

The call has gone out to members and friends to either volunteer their time during the event or to send donations of jams, pickles and fruit cakes which will be on sale at the tea rooms and my advice here is, if you want any of these items get your skates on because hotcakes are like the tortoise to our hare when it comes to how quickly they sell!!

Equally popular are the devonshire teas, evidenced by the almost 41,000 scones produced at last year’s event and customers often comment that their show ‘experience’ is not complete without a visit to our site. Not everyone partakes of the classic afternoon tea treat; some enjoy a savoury morsel, a cold drink, the weight of aching feet and a chance to chat to our ladies.

The CWA’s ‘mantra’ of late has been that we are more than just tea and scones and once lured into the “lair” by the “bait” we take every opportunity to ensure the “quarry” leave unscathed, well fed and watered, but with a better understanding of just how heterogeneous (love my thesaurus!) our organisation is.

This traditional city/country event affords us the opportunity to espouse the diversity of our membership; be it geographical, cultural, youthful and energetic or, older and wiser. It allows us to discuss the various community and state wide projects our members’ support, the total of which is almost $750,000.00 annually. Members also embrace the chance to explain how the organisation is evolving to continue to meet the needs of the women we support.

None of this would be possible without the mammoth effort put in by the members of the Show Committee; 9 ladies who work extremely hard before, during and long after all the other volunteers have waved their goodbyes and taken their weary bodies’ home. The tea rooms would/could not operate without their energy, enthusiasm, organisational abilities and of course, cooking skills! They are “on deck” all day, every day for not only the two weeks that the show runs but before, setting up and after, returning everything to its rightful place.

It’s definitely hard work, but the sense of achievement, the camaraderie, the response from and interaction with the public, are priceless. Sometimes we just assume they love it; they wouldn’t keep coming back if they didn’t, would they?

I’m hoping to volunteer a day, early to beat the rest of you for the best jams and pickles, so make sure you say hello…….if they haven’t got me on washing up duty!

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