ARARAT resident Toni Hobson is encouraging locals to travel further afield to attend a different kind of Christmas fundraiser this weekend.
The fundraiser is being organised by Daryl Floyd, brother of missing 12 year old Terry Floyd, to raise funds for underprivileged children across the Avoca and Maryborough area.
The event is called ‘An insight into crime’ and is being held on December 1 in Carisbrook, and will feature talks from Herald Sun crime reporter Keith Moor, 60 Minutes producers and investigative reporters Grace Tobin and Sean Power.
Each speaker will offer their insights into the world of crime based on their own work, as well as take part in a question and answer forum.
Ms Hobson encouraged Ararat residents to attend in support of underprivileged children and in support of Mr Floyd’s ongoing search for his missing brother, Terry.
Terry has been missing for 43 years after he disappeared from the intersection of the Sunraysia and Pyrenees highways on June 28, 1975.
Read more:Terry Floyd search continues despite setback.
Police investigations and Mr Floyd’s own investigations led them to the Morning Star mine shaft which is located halfway between Avoca and Maryborough.
Mr Floyd, along with a growing group of volunteers, has been searching the site since 2010 and several clothing items identified as likely belonging to Terry have been found there.
However, there has been no sign of Terry’s remains. In the midst of all of this, Mr Floyd has decided to try and raise money for those children who might otherwise miss out over the festive season and into the new year.
“I just had this thought that, I’m trying to find my 12 year old brother but coming up to Christmas there are a lot of kids out there who are not as fortunate (as others). I want to give back to those in need,” he said.
“(Funds raised) will help out over Christmas and going forward into the next year – there are a couple of organisations that do things for schools, and we’ll help them out so they can keep rolling.”
Ms Hobson and her grandsons have been helping with the promotion of the fundraiser and with the search itself for the last three years, and wants to spread awareness about the situation.
“I hope people come along and support the fundraiser – that would be absolutely wonderful. And the more information that people can come up with (relating to the case) – even it’s just a small amount, something minor – it may be the key that unlocks the whole thing,” she said.
Until then, Ms Hobson will continue helping with the search effort.
“My mum and I have been cooking meals for the volunteers, the boys and I get in and do some (dirt) screening,” she said.
“The more volunteers he’s got out there the better. We need people to cook up meals and take them out because the volunteers are doing this off their own back.”
Read more:Boy’s shirt found in Avoca mine.
Ms Hobson said that Mr Floyd’s story had had a profound impact on her.
“The reason I have my grandsons involved is that I want them to go through life with their eyes open and not closed to the fact that there are these nasty people around and that they will hurt children,” she said.
Mr Floyd himself is still very hopeful of finding Terry and bringing him home.
“That’s the only thing you have got – hope. Without hope you’ve got nothing,” he said.
The fundraiser will also hold a raffle with over 40 items donated from local businesses.
Tickets can be purchased at the door or people can also call Mr Floyd on 0402 125 551, or Glenda Rowland on 0409 590 369.
Tickets are $20 and the event will run from 7pm – 9.30pm at the Carisbrook Harness Racing Complex.
Anyone interested in following the search effort can ‘like’ the Facebook page, Missing Terry Floyd.