Inaugural Folk in the Forest music festival raises $2500 for Love Your Sister

COMMUNITY SPIRIT: Racheal Rye and Shannon Walters at the Folk in the Forest festival at Brunkerville on Saturday. Picture: Krystal Sellars
COMMUNITY SPIRIT: Racheal Rye and Shannon Walters at the Folk in the Forest festival at Brunkerville on Saturday. Picture: Krystal Sellars

With great weather, blissful music and community spirit on show, the inaugural Folk in the Forest festival was everything the organisers could have hoped for.

Featuring Anna Weatherup, Sam Windley and Nick Saxon, the intimate festival drew about 170 people to the Tree House at Brunkerville on Saturday afternoon, and raised more than $2500 for cancer research charity Love Your Sister.

The festival was organised by family friends of Hannah Rye, the Mount Vincent girl who died in August 2017, aged 15, after a battle with Ewing's sarcoma.

Love Your Sister co-founder Connie Johnson fought the same rare form of cancer as a child; subsequently battled uterine cancer and breast cancer, before passing away at age 40 - just three weeks after Hannah.

Connie's brother, actor Samuel Johnson, continues her legacy through fundraising for Love Your Sister, which donates every cent raised to scientific cancer research.

Hannah's mum Racheal said she is driven to find a cure to honour her daughter's memory.

"We need a cure, because I don't want anyone else to lose their daughter, or any other child to have to discuss their mortality with a paediatric oncologist," she said.

"Hannah's now free from pain, but our pain will never go away - and if we can stop just one family from feeling that pain, that's what we're here for."

Event organiser Shannon Walters said she was "lost for words".

"It was everything we wanted, the universe just came together," she said.

Another fundraising event is being planned for May, with more details to be released soon.

Stay tuned to Folk in the Forest on Facebook for more information.

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