Peter Bleakley wins $30,000 Goldfields Children Charity Ball raffle

Phoebe PinKalgoorlie Miner
Peter Bleakley was the winner of the $30,000 drawn by the Goldfields Children Charity.
Camera IconPeter Bleakley was the winner of the $30,000 drawn by the Goldfields Children Charity. Credit: Kelsey Reid/Kalgoorlie Miner, Kelsey Reid

Kalgoorlie-Boulder local of more than 30 years Peter Bleakley thought he was the victim of a prank when he received a call telling him he had won $30,000 last Saturday night.

Despite the 20th annual Goldfields Children Charity Ball being postponed because of the COVID-19 crisis, committee members still arrived at the Goldfields Oasis Recreation Centre dressed in ball gowns and tuxedos to draw the charity’s raffle.

Mr Bleakley said he supported the charity every year but never expected to win one of the prizes.

“It’s more about supporting the organisations and the children’s charity do a really good job with what they do,” he said.

“I didn’t expect to win anything — I never do.”

Mr Bleakley was still at work when City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder Cr Glenn Wilson called to tell him the good news, which Mr Bleakley initially thought was a joke.

“Knowing Glenny and knowing (Martin Cable) they are both pranksters, so I thought they were having a bit of a go at me at the start, but it turned out to be a really good surprise,” he said.

Mr Bleakley said his wife also had trouble believing they had won the top prize.

“She thought I was taking the mickey and having a really good joke when I first rang her up, then she thought it was pretty cool,” he said.

“I think she spent it three times before I even got home.”

Mr Bleakley said the family would probably put the money towards “something sensible” such as paying off the mortgage on the Goldfields home he has no intention of leaving anytime soon.

“I moved up here in 1988 for six months and I’m still here,” he said.

“I have had a ball in the Goldfields over the last 30 years.

“I spend a bit of time out in the scrub, do a bit of yabbying, a bit of metal detecting, ride the motorbikes around with the kids ... it’s just good fun.”

Mr Bleakley has been a career firefighter for about 20 years and a member of the CBC Hockey Club for almost 30 years, saying it’s important to be an active member of the community.

“If you live somewhere, you have to be involved in the community,” he said.

“A lot of the people you meet through sport, you might not see them for three or four years but when you do, you just pick up where you left off.”

Goldfields Children Charity committee chairman Martin Cable said Mr Bleakley was a worthy recipient of the prize.

“He puts back a lot into the community so he is a very worthy winner and I am very excited for Peter,” he said.

“He would do anything for anyone, so for someone who is so open-hearted to win it is fantastic.

“The second and third prize winners were also really grateful to win the $2000 and $3000 because they are actually starting to feel the pinch at the moment and know they are going to need that money.”

Mr Cable said the committee had felt it important to make the raffle draw as special as possible.

“We needed to show a little bit of hope to the community and thank the supporters who have supported us,” he said.

“We also had two committee members that have done 10 years with the charity and I thought it would be a little bit disheartening for them to miss out on a celebration just because the ball isn’t going ahead at the moment.”

Mr Cable said the work of the Goldfields Children Charity was more important than ever, with sick young people among the most vulnerable to COVID-19.

“The kids with the low immune systems and infections, they are the ones that are going to be hit hardest with this,” he said.

“That is why we are pushing to continue with what we do.

“We want to thank everyone who has supported us through this time and will continue to support us.

“Everyone who bought a ticket and all of the companies that donate ... it’s going to help the kids that need it.”

A decision on when the delayed ball will take place has not yet been made.

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