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Little ray of HOPE

Wednesday, 15th January, 2020

The rodeo and barrel racing community is getting behind Hope Clare (left). PICTURE: Kurt Walter The rodeo and barrel racing community is getting behind Hope Clare (left). PICTURE: Kurt Walter

By Merey Colquhoun

Broken Hill is an iconic outback town known for it’s history in mining, and rough and tumble ways, but among the dust and flies and summer heat, there is a little gem called Hope.

Hope Clare and her family live in Broken Hill, well they did up until the middle of last year.

Hope was diagnosed with Leukaemia last year and because of the treatment that she required, her family needed to relocate to Adelaide.

It’s challenging enough being a parent, so to have your child struck down with some dreadful disease is almost unimaginable.

They say there is a silver lining to every black cloud, and for Hope and her parents Becky Weston and William Schmidt, their silver lining is the wonderful friends and support that has surrounded them.

One such friend is Kylie Kemp who lives in Keith, in the South East of South Australia.

Kylie is one of those no fuss girls, who just gets on and gets the job done. Becky and Kylie became good friends through work and continued the friendship with a mutual love of Barrel Racing and Rodeo.

When asked about her reaction to the news, Kylie said: “I got the news as a text message and I just couldn’t believe what I was reading, I was totally devastated and shocked. In fact I had to read it several times before it sunk in.”

Kylie felt she needed to do something to help her friends, so with the support of the Barrel Racing community, Kylie is holding a fundraising Barrel Race in Keith “Run For Hope”.

This will be held on the first weekend in February, and all the proceeds will go to assisting Hope with her treatment and helping her family while they are in Adelaide.

“It’s hard to fathom what this can do to a family, they’re away from home and loved ones and not only is there the stress of the situation, the bills keep rolling in which just adds to the pressure”.

The awareness of Hope’s story has reached many communities across South Australia.

One such community is Streaky Bay, a quiet picturesque seaside town on the west coast of Eyre Peninsula.

Ms Lynnette Finch is President of the Streaky Bay Rodeo and heard about Run For Hope.

“I was struck with such emotion over this news and just felt that we needed to do something to help this family,” she said. 

“No family should go through a journey like this alone,” she added.

The rodeo and barrel racing community is strong throughout Australia and so Streaky Bay Rodeo by the Sea approached their platinum sponsor.

West Coast Landmark and Leader Products teamed together and donated 2000

pink sheep ear-tags for Hope, Ms Finch explained.

“Cowboys and cowgirls love adorning their hats with these tags so it seemed to be the obvious fundraising item,” she said.

Storm Carney, is also a resident of Broken Hill and another very good friend of Hope and her family. Storm is in the process of obtaining these ear-tags to sell in Hope’s hometown.

They will be available at various outlets in Broken Hill and Kylie has ear-tags available in Keith.

In a time when it seems like the whole of Australia is hurting due to the devastating bushfires and drought, in a little corner of our community there is a little girl who also needs some help, so buy a tag for Hope and wear it with pride.

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