IN short, it was a triumph.
Gathering around 700 people to the Bathurst Goldfields on Saturday night for a drought relief fundraiser was a remarkable effort, a credit to the organisers and the community that supported them.
Attracting top-line stars such as Guy Sebastian and Em Rusciano to entertain the crowd was a coup, and the audience responded enthusiastically.
Raising $150,000 in a single night to ensure a drought relief counsellor is on the ground in the Bathurst region within a month was exceptional and an acknowledgment of just how desperate the drought situation has become.
But to bring it all together in just four weeks was unbelievable.
Grant and Chezzi Denyer, as the driving forces behind the Black Tie and Boots Ball on Saturday night, deserve most of the credit and the thanks for pulling this off.
They have also been the faces of this drought relief campaign and have already contributed countless hours of their own time trying to both providing practical assistance for farmers in need while also raising broader awareness of their plight.
Grant Denyer told the crowd on Saturday that governments were slowly starting to respond to the drought crisis across NSW, but said there was much more for them to do. But the Denyers have not done this all on their own, and nor would they claim they have.
Rural Aid CEO Charles Alder has already given five years to supporting drought-affected farmers, starting in western Queensland and now extending those same programs through NSW as the rain has dried up and the land has turned brown.
He was also there on Saturday night to thank the Bathurst community, just as the community was there to thank him and the army of volunteers who have lent a hand.
The lasting memory of the night, however, will be the sheer joy on the faces of all who attended.
Among them were farming families who had taken the rare chance to enjoy a night out and leave concerns about feeding stock and watering crops behind them for just a few hours.
And the final winner on the night was the venue, which proved more than capable of hosting an event of such magnitude.
Balls like this do not come along often in Bathurst and there are precious few venues in Bathurst with the space and expertise to do them justice. Goldfields did just that.