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Steve opts for drag down the main street

Saturday, 27th June, 2020

They fit! Steve Radford getting ready for the big event in Argent Street this morning. PICTURE: Emily Ferguson They fit! Steve Radford getting ready for the big event in Argent Street this morning. PICTURE: Emily Ferguson

Little did Steve Radford know when he challenged the Broken Hill community to raise $5,000 for Lifeline Broken Hill Country to Coast and men’s mental health, that it would be the start of something so big.

After hearing about five weeks ago that Lifeline Broken Hill didn’t have enough resources to fund the hiring of appropriate staff needed to help the community in the way they needed and wanted, Steve acted immediately by putting a challenge out to the community. 

To raise money for Lifeline’s ‘Challenge the Stigma (of men’s mental health)’ campaign, Steve challenged the community to raise $5,000, and if the target could be reached within three weeks, he would match it with another $5,000.

That was a Wednesday, May 20. By Thursday, the donations had totalled $16,000. The donations just kept rolling in until last week, when the total had swollen to a massive $48,900, a (non-local) company offered to donate $1,100 to make the total an even $50,000.

Lifeline Operations Manager Marisa Pickett said she couldn’t believe how generous people have been.

“I can’t believe the generosity of the Broken Hill people,” she said.

“Because of this, lifeline is now looking at employing a social worker.”

Now, Steve faces a counter-challenge which was put to him in the form of a list on Facebook so that he could choose.

Steve agreed to accept a counter-challenge, but Ms Pickett said this was conditional.

“Steve said he would not be jumping from an aeroplane and would definitely not be riding a pushbike up the Line of Lode.

“But he’d do anything else,” she said.

So, at 11am this morning, Steve will walk in ‘full drag’ down Argent Street from the Lifeline office to the Broken Hill Pub. Then, at 12pm, like some scene from Romeo and Juliet, he will sing a song from the balcony of the hotel. 

But the fun will be starting way before 11am, when at 7am Steve will undergo his TRANSformation at the hands of local Drag diva Shelita Buffet. 

Ms Pickett said Shelita would do Steve’s make-up and hair, which takes three hours.

“Steve’s actually quite excited about it,” she said.

“But he said the walk down Argent Street will be interesting because he’s never worn high heels before.”

Steve’s initial challenge has caught on like wildfire, developing into a string of challenges within the community, with local AFL clubs figuring strongly in the mix.

Yesterday morning, South Broken Hill Football Club’s Scott Sanford raised $3,775.02 by having his head shaved - a brave move in this chilly weather.

Next Saturday, July 4, Central Football Club’s Jordan Gilby and a few others will be attempting a run from Silverton Hotel to the Lifeline building in Argent Street.

North Broken Hill Football Club’s challenge event will be former local and former Adelaide Crows captain Taylor Walker singing a club song; and West Broken Hill Football Club has undertaken to do a swim, with both dates to be announced.

Donations for any or all of the events can be made via the Lifeline Broken Hill Country to Coast website, Facebook page, or individuals’ respective footy club Facebook pages.

Lifeline 24-hour telephone crisis line 13 11 14

Beyond Blue 24-hour telephone help line 1300 22 4636

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