St Raphael's 535 Dinner a huge success

The second annual 535 dinner, hosted by St Raphael's Parish, was a huge success with thousands raised to help educate women in underprivileged communities.

Held on Friday night at the St Raphael's Hall, the dinner featured a simple meal, a raffle and plenty of fun and games all in the name of charity.

Co-organiser of the dinner, Margaret Stewart, said the Parish was still crunching the numbers from ticket sales but believes thousands of dollars was raised on the night.

"I think we got close to the $4000," she said.

"We did a quick check on the night and we took on just $2000... and we are still getting donations today."

The initial 535 dinner last year raised more than $5000 for the charity Caritas.

Based on the success of both this year's and last year's dinners, Mrs Stewart said the fundraiser is set to become an annual event.

"Father Laurie said it would be a good idea if it was a yearly thing," she said.

"Everyone that has come said they will come again next year."

Mrs Stewart said none of this would be possible without the support of those who attended, members of the Parish, local businesses and the wider Cowra community.

"We really appreciate the support they give us too," she said.

As was done last year, rather than sponsoring a child or children, St Raphael's has decided to use the funds raised to help the women in these underprivileged communities to stay healthy and to get an education.

Helping the women in this way has flow on effects for their family and for their community.

The catch cry is Educate Women and Change The World.

"It was a really good night, we raise funds to empower women to get an education," Mrs Stewart said.

"We want to try and help get them out of that revolving door of poverty."

The number 535 is significant in that a UNICEF (United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund) report from late 2016 found that 535 million children (one quarter of the world's children) live in conflict or disaster stricken countries.

These children are impacted by war, natural disasters and climate change.

They often have no access to medical care, quality education, proper nutrition or protection.

"Statistics like the 535 million number are a stark reminder of just how lucky we are to live in a country like Australia," the Parish said.

"If every community in the lucky countries around the world does something to help these children, we can make a difference. If we all sit back and say it is too hard or the numbers are just too big, then we won't make a difference."