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Charity Bell

Anyone who's attended BeefEx knows the famous charity bell, but do you know its history? This bell, auctioned annually at the Gala Dinner, symbolises the generosity and community spirit of the lot feeding industry.

 

Read on to discover the story behind this cherished tradition and its impact.

Front left to right: 2022 Winning Bidders Simon Drury, Kylie Drury, celebrating with Kevin Roberts, Meredith Foster & Jan Roberts

The Story

The tradition of the BeefEx bell auction began in September 1992 in Coffs Harbour, at the very first BeefEx conference. Colin Monroe, an ABC presenter and chairman of events, requested a bell to gather attendees for each session. Newly appointed ALFA President, Kevin Roberts, tasked his wife Jan and her friend Meridth Foster with finding a suitable bell. Their resourcefulness led to the acquisition of a replica school bell.

At that first Gala Dinner, the bell was auctioned for $500, a significant sum compared to its $50 cost. The proceeds were donated to the Royal Brisbane Children’s Hospital, where their daughter Jilly was head of the Occupational Health department, marking the beginning of the bell’s charitable legacy.

In 1996, Jan purchased a Condamine Bell from her friend Judy Tresillian’s brother, an antique dealer, for $200. This bell was bought at auction by Hollis Klett, a longtime friend and feedlot industry stalwart, for $5,000. Since then, the bell has been a regular feature at BeefEx, symbolising generosity and community spirit.

Over the years, the bell has been auctioned at every BeefEx conference, with all proceeds going to LifeFlight, a charity vital to the feedlot industry.

 

In 2019, the Roberts family sold Sandalwood Feedlot after nearly 35 years, but the tradition continued. Jan once predicted that Kevin would eventually end up with the bell, a prophecy fulfilled when he purchased it for $13,500.

In 2022, a new record was set when the family who owns Condabri Feedlot bid $25,000 for the bell. 

This October, a bell generously donated by Judy Tresillian, valued at $1,000, will be auctioned once again to benefit LifeFlight. The tradition lives on, celebrating the spirit of generosity and the strong community bonds within the feedlot industry.

"The Bell History"

Thanks to ALFA Life Members, Kevin and Jan Roberts and families for preparing The History of The Bell.

About LifeFlight

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LifeFlight is a critical aeromedical service providing rapid emergency response across Queensland. Equipped with a fleet of helicopters and air ambulances, LifeFlight delivers essential medical care to remote and rural areas, often inaccessible by road.

 

This service is vital for the lot feeding industry, where accidents and medical emergencies can occur far from urban centers. By offering swift medical assistance and transport, LifeFlight helps save lives and ensures the safety and well-being of those working in the industry.

 

The ongoing support from BeefEx attendees through the annual bell auction significantly contributes to sustaining these life-saving operations.

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