Dr Charles Ellis, Courtney Bylett (flight nurse), Dr Scott Bentley, Luke Radford (relationship manager Suncorp Roma/Charleville), Di Dowrick (flight nurse), Denise Windsor (flight nurse), Jo Mahony (flight nurse/base manager), Cathy Wilson (flight nurse).
Dr Charles Ellis, Courtney Bylett (flight nurse), Dr Scott Bentley, Luke Radford (relationship manager Suncorp Roma/Charleville), Di Dowrick (flight nurse), Denise Windsor (flight nurse), Jo Mahony (flight nurse/base manager), Cathy Wilson (flight nurse). SHANE WISE

Bigger and better than ever

CHARLEVILLE is preparing for one of the most anticipated nights of the year, the Royal Flying Doctor Service Ball is set to take place next Saturday evening.

Now in its fourth year, organiser and RFDS flight nurse Courtney Bylett said the fundraising event had grown more than she ever imagined when she organised her first ball four years ago.

"I look back now at the first ball we did and can't believe how quickly it has grown," Ms Bylett said.

"It's such a good thing and I am amazed by how well the community has supported it.

"It's an excuse for everyone to get dressed up and enjoy the night."

This year ticket sales increased from 280 to 350 and sold out in an impressive four and a half hours, the quickest time to date.

Ms Bylett said the night was not only about the RFDS, but also about the community.

The evening will include a variety of locally sourced products, businesses and entertainment.

"In local businesses alone we have raised $19,000 which is absolutely extraordinary.

"This year we are hoping to push $30,000, but we will see how we go.

"Over the past three years we have raised around $20,000 each year, so about $60,000 all up," Ms Bylett said.

Entertainment this year is from local band Double Flannell, with the lead guitarist being one of the RFDS pilots.

"The grog is from the Cattle Camp, Leith Brennan is catering and all of the equipment is from ASA Hire," she said.

"The event brings so much life to the town for the weekend as it fills hotels, hairdressers, makeup artists and shops get more business over the weekend.

"It not only benefits the RFDS, but our whole community."

This year also marks the 90th birthday of the RFDS and the 75th anniversary for the Charleville Base - more of an excuse for a ball, Ms Bylett said.

Auction items include:

 

Signed 100th anniversary game 2014 signed Qld State of Origin jersey - donated by Suncorp.

 

Original art pieces - donated by local artist Karen Mayo.

 

Leather handbag and wallet - donated by Helen and Tom Rosenow of Paroo Patch, Eulo.

 

Black and white cowhide - donated by the Handley Family.

 

Model KingAir B200 aircraft - donated by RFDS Charleville.

 

Framed art pieces - donated by Helen Morris.

 

Front page of the Western Times - donated by Western Times.

 

Bulloo built Frame - donated by Deb of Bulloo built in Thargomindah.

 

Patchwork quilt made from the Charleville Crew Jeans - made by RFDS flight nurse Di Dowrick.

 

HAVING A BALL: Around 300 people packed in the RFDS Charleville base hangar on Saturday night for the Western Winter ball.
HAVING A BALL: Around 300 people packed in the RFDS Charleville base hangar on Saturday night for the Western Winter ball. Sarah Dionysius

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