I was alarmed to read the story on the Luncheon Club in last week’s SSO This organisation is remarkable in what it provides the community.

For those of you who don’t know, it provides food and essential items on a weekly basis to those living with HIV/AIDS. It never occurred to me, as it hasn’t to most people, that the loss of venues such as the Newtown Hotel and Manacle would have such a devastating effect on the organisation.

Taking away not only that but fundraising events at other venues has left the Luncheon Club in a tight spot.

The worst part of this situation is they aren’t the only ones. Because of the everyday pressures on our purse strings – especially with interest rate rises, inflation and even fuel which looks to be going up again – the charities in our community are slowly wasting away.

We desperately need to start pumping resources back into these organisations. This is the sort of thing I’m talking about when I complain that Mardi Gras party tickets are too expensive. For the price of a couple of tickets, you could make an enormous difference to one of these charities.

When you factor in all the extras that go along with an event such as that, for some that extends to beauty treatments, new outfits, cabs to and fro, and the black hole for our community’s cash -“ drugs -“ imagine what you could do with that kind of cash.

Sitting in a caf?n the morning of Mardi Gras I overheard a girl in Newtown boast that she had spent $300 on a new corset for the party then $200 on new boots and was just about to go and get her hair cut and coloured. Then she reminded her friend that she needed to pick up three grams of for the party.

That adds up to an awful lot of cash for 24 hours or so of fun.

If we add that up -“ about $1700 -“ and multiply it by the estimated number of gays and lesbians in Sydney -“ about 250,000 -“ we get a staggering figure of $425 million. And that doesn’t even include drinks!

Imagine if our charities had access to that kind of booty? They’d never have to put out a call for funding assistance again.

It kills me to see disadvantaged and ill members of our community in desperate need of help. They could literally die while hundreds and thousands in our community use their money to partake in huge amounts of drugs. Are we perhaps a selfish lot? Or perhaps we just don’t think?

But it seems ironic others may die while we are out there spending money on something that could quite easily kill us.

I’m not saying you should spend all of your disposable income on charities and sit in front of the television every night. After all, why work when we are not going to savour the fruits of our labours.

But maybe we could all curb our weekend and party spending just a little bit and donate some of the leftover cash to a great cause like the Luncheon Club. It might just help save someone’s life.

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