Gravesend Charity Campdraft raises $20,000 for local father Red McClymont

The Gravesend community stepped up over the weekend with a highly successful charity campdraft that has raised about $20,000 for a local family.

Although the final figure from the inaugural Gravesend Charity Campdraft is yet to be finalised, organisers believe it will be around the $20,000 mark, which is significantly more than expected.

"We're really happy with that," Gravesend Charity Campdraft president Dan Coulton said.

All of that will be going directly to the McClymont family - Andrew 'Red' McClymont, wife Ellie-May and nine-month-old son Ollie - to support Red's recovery from rare neurological disorders Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) and chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP).

With Red facing years of rehab and hospital visits, and wife Ellie-May not working while she supports his recovery, the money will be used to make life a little easier for the family during this difficult time.

Mr Coulton said the family, who made a surprise appearance at the campdraft on Saturday, were overwhelmed by the support of the community.

"At lunch time on Saturday Red fella turned up which was a massive surprise for everyone," he said.

"He's home for good now, so he presented some of the ribbons.

"Red's wife Ellie-May got up and burst into tears on Saturday night - it was a massive community event."

Mr Coulton said everyone pitched in to make it such a successful weekend, with some of the competitors even donating their winnings back to the cause.

"It was really good," he said.

"A little boy, he would have been about 13 or 14, won the bareback cutout and instantly donated his money back. Adam [Thurgood from North Star, who is also on the campdraft committee, and was the only local winner] won $200 in the maiden campdraft and donated it back. Other people donated their winnings too.

"It was a big team effort."

A large crowd attended the event on Saturday evening, enjoying a roast dinner and live music by Mark Colley from Glen Innes, who had everyone partying into the night.

The auction was also a great success, with six items going for about $3,500.

"Saturday night was huge," Mr Coulton said.

"It was a massive weekend. Everything went really well."

The committee are now looking forward to putting on another campdraft again next year, depending on whether the drought has broken by then. They hope to make it an annual event.

Meanwhile, Red checked out of the Tamworth rehabilitation unit on Friday and now he, Ellie-May and Ollie are home for good. Red will continue his physiotherapy, hydrotherapy and monthly intravenous immunoglobulin therapy at Warialda or Bingara.

Red's mother Andrea McClymont thanked all who were involved in the weekend.

"Thank you just does not seem to cut it for all that were involved in one way or another with the charity draft," she said.

"To the committee, competitors, sponsors, spectators, volunteers and donors, you are all angels in our eyes! It was glorious to see competitors and spectators dressed in red for Red."