Fete Profile – Burra Community School

Burra Community School Fete

Name: Tanya Williams
School: Burra Community School – Reception to Year 12. Reception to Year 7 is the biggest part of the school.
Event Date: Friday 24 October 2014
How many students attend your school? 230
Approximately how many people attended your fete? 500

 Burra Community school


  • Did you have a theme? Year of the Farmer
  • How did you set a date? Normally the fete is in February and we hit 45 degree days. We decided it was way too hot and needed to change the time of year that we had it. We made it October as it was after winter sports had finished and before harvest. The weather was a lot cooler this year.
  • How many organising committee roles were there and what were they? Fundraising committee – group of 6 people and some staff which made it easier.
  • Have you ever been involved in organising an event like this before? Yes, another fete and fundraising dinners for the last six years.
  • What unique attraction/activity did you have that set you apart from other fetes in your area? Farmers’ challenge – it is a relay doing farm jobs like find the sheep ear tag in the hay, put on overalls etc….We got the idea from a group of guys who got together and they sell the idea to the rural shows. Having the challenge stopped the kids getting bored. Gold coin donation to enter. It was no outlay for a lot of profit.
  • What are the challenges you face being in a remote area?Rides are city based amusements so they charge to travel to us. We are a small school and generally targeting the same people. The same local businesses get asked each time for sporting clubs and schools etc… Two smaller schools are 15 mins away. 30 mins away there are three more schools. We are in a wine growing region and some wineries match what we purchase and usually also donate wine as well which is great.


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  • How much money did you raise from sponsorship? No sponsorship this year, but the local butcher does a good deal for sausage sizzles.
  • How this this compare to previous years? AGL have previously donated $1000 for the rock climbing wall but we didn’t get it this year.
  • Do you have any advice for other seeking sponsorship?Target bigger companies, don’t bleed the little companies dry. Smaller wineries donate wine bottles and the bigger ones just say that the sponsorship person isn’t there and they have to process it and I am pretty sure that our letters just get put to the bottom of the pile.


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  • How many rides did you have? 2 – rock wall and jumping castle.
  • Did you buy your rides outright or have a split percentage? Bought rides outright.
  • What was the price of your rides?
  • $5 rock wall and $2 for jumping castle which was run by the student council. The jumping castle paid for itself and made a profit. The rock wall was more expensive and made a $100 loss.


  • Did you allow outside stall holders? Yes.
  • If yes, how many did you have? The local kindergarten. They asked us what we were missing and then filled the void by selling cupcakes and donuts.
  • How much was your stall fee? $50.
  • List of side show alley stalls: Some of the classes organised throwing darts at balloons, face painting, and basketball hoop competition.
  • Most profitable stalls: Bar (wine and beer), farmers’ challenge, jumping castle, BBQ, our canteen which sold thai noodle salad, curry, baked potatoes and hot dogs.
  • Stalls you wouldn’t run again: Face painting was really slow due to it being so hot but the kids that did have it done loved it so we would do it again.


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  • What is the best way that you have found to get people to volunteer their time?
  • Ha ha, is there a best way??!! Asking face to face works best but a very small amount of people volunteer and it is always the same faces.
  • Did you use an online roster? No. Each class organises their own parents to help out.
  • Do you have a thank you dinner/party for your convenors? Not for this one. Previous fundraisers have had a dinner and debrief.
  • How did you thank your volunteers? In the newsletter and face to face.
  • Advice for others trying to recruit volunteers? I don’t have any. When you find the best way please let me know!


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  • Describe any success you had with your publicity We had a great response with Facebook and put flyers in Burra and some posters also went to smaller outlying towns too.
  • How did you promote your fundraiser? Social Media including Facebook. Flyers / Posters in Burra and the neighbouring town Clare. Press release/articles for radio/local newspapers. 


  • Did you co-ordinate bulk supplies centrally? Eg. napkins, plates, cutlery, etc…It was up to the individual stall classes to organise their own.


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  • What was your fundraising goal? It was a community event more so than anything else. No real fundraising goal was set.
  • How much money did you raise? $3,500.
  • What does the money go towards? It goes into the slush fund and at the end of the year suggestions are put forward by staff as to what they would like to spend the money on. Eg. Washing machine for home economics, seating, ipads, smart boards etc…
  • What would you do differently next year? We only hold it every second year. This year we changed the dates as during winter it is cold, wet and miserable. Later than October too busy. February is way too hot.
  • Is there anything you wish you had known before you started? No, not really. This is the third one I have done. The last two were on school grounds and the stalls were spread out around the school and it was too hard to keep an eye on the kids. The school has a pool onsite which is why it used to be there. It was free to swim and it certainly helped alleviate the 45 degree days but safety was a an issue for the parents who were working as they couldn’t look after their kids. It was awesome to have it on the town oval as it kept it all together. I went to hire marquees but they were way too expensive so put in on the FB page and people responded and we ended up with 15-20 marquees which was fantastic.
  • What is the best advice that you can give a fete convenor?Start preparations early. We started in 5-6 weeks prior. Date and location was booked in prior to that but that was it. We couldn’t get parents or teachers to respond or do anything in the school holidays.


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  • What other fundraisers do you have during the year? We used Garden Express as we saw it on the fundraising directory website. I loved it as it is such an easy fundraiser! We are not only relying on school parents as they can take orders from friends and family. We also have a fundraising dinner. Other fundraisers this year included: Event catering – we catered for 80 BikeSA participants which were based in Burra. Lunches and dinner at a per person rate. We also did the Merino SA launch in Burra dinner (sheep). This year our Year 6/7s were fundraising to subsidise their trip to Canberra (which they are currently on), so we didn’t fundraise as a school as much this year. That group did: Quiz night, Cadbury Chocolate Boxes, Car Boot Sale, Sausage Sizzles at local events, Bottle/Can drive (we get 10c per can/bottle when recycling in SA), They were also successful in a substantial grant from AGL to go towards the flights over.

Photos credited to Burra Broadcaster

Originally published 19 February, 2015

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