HILLSTON attracted music fans from far and wide at the weekend as music stars they'd never seen locally before gathered in the small town all in the name of charity, with Live on the Lachlan - A Day For Deyan.
Stan Peters Oval hosted the special day that starred Shannon Noll, Taylor Henderson, the Bushwackers and Riverina talents Wobbly Boot Band, Jorja Belle, Harriet Kelly, and Tess and Ben Melton as Blue Sugar.
Live on the Lachlan raised money for Deyan Cashmere's treatment for leukaemia that has taken he and his parents to Seattle, USA.
The 20-year-old man from Hillston was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia on March 11 last year and has been undergoing various forms of treatment in St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney for the past 12 months.
However, he relapsed and his only hope of survival is T-Cell (CAR T-Cell) treatment in the US, at a cost of $US400,000.
His parents, Kelly and Bruce, who are dry area farmers, spent much of 2018 and the beginning of this year in Sydney at his bedside supporting their son, while dealing with the drought that has gripped much of NSW.
Hillston's Tania Dalton decided she couldn't sit back and do nothing, so gathered a team around her and together they organised the huge music concert in just seven weeks.
Within days, they had all the music artists on board who wanted to support the cause by offering their services for a reduced fee, and within weeks tickets were selling like hotcakes.
People travelled from Melbourne, Sydney, Hunter Valley, Wagga Wagga, Tamworth, Leeton, Griffith, Lake Cargelligo, Canberra, and Hay to catch their favourite artists and support the cause.
The event in Hillston, a town of 1000 people, attracted 675 people, with nearly 200 of these being children adding to the family-friendly atmosphere of the community event.
"The success of the event can be gauged by the conversations that have been happening around the town since the weekend," Mrs Dalton said.
"The children felt safe, the area run by Fusion Riverina was a hit with the younger audience members, and I enjoyed the night because I was able to see everyone else enjoying themselves.
"When you see families and children and bands and musicians interacting with each other, it makes it a relaxing occasion.
"It was all about the community coming together to raise funds to help Deyan's family and to have a chance to relax during these hard times in a really enjoyable environment."
Thanks to the supporters, volunteers and people who have donated their time, the event raised $30,000.
This won't be the last the small town sees of large-scale concerts as Live on the Lachlan could now become a semi-regular musical event for the people of Hillston.
The fundraising for Deyan kicked off with an appeal earlier this year, a GoFundMe was set up and there was funds from Hillston's Outback Triathlon were also donated.
In March a grant from the federal government meant the push to get Deyan to the US was successful, and he was able to leave the country to receive the treatment.
The treatment is expected to take three months.
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