MUSICIAN Murray Mandel is back in action, raising money and awareness for The Smith Family through classical guitar shows on the Mid North Coast.
The next stop on his tour is Kempsey Central, where he is set to play from Friday May 28, until Sunday May 30, starting at 10am and finishing at 3pm.
Previously the retired hospital microbiologist performed a staggering 409 times in 156 major shopping centres, raising just over $71,000 for Lifeline.
"I want to use my energy as much as possible to help others," Murray said.
"The Lifeline tour was extraordinary, and produced very positive results for so many individuals that I came across during my performances in the shopping centres.
"I enjoy having passers-by approach me for a chat, whether it's about the charity I'm supporting, or something else entirely."
Like a lot of people, Murray's future plans were thrown into disarray by COVID-19 restrictions, and after his final gig for Lifeline, he found himself blueberry picking in Coffs Harbour.
After a few months in the fields, he moved to Port Macquarie in January, and he decided to start his new fundraising campaign in support of The Smith Family.
"When I finished my last performance in Canberra, eight days before the unexpected lockdown last year, my plans for the near future were disrupted," he said.
"Uncertainties arose, but I eventually decided to help pick fruit for several months; the idea to help the Smith Family has had in the back of my mind for years though.
I will never retire; it's so important that we help children and young Australians for the sake of their futures.Murray Mandel
"The work they do helping disadvantage Australian children and young people get the most of their education is a great cause; I consider it a privilege to help them in their work."
The first show of Murray's new tour was in Port Macquarie, at Settlement City, but over the next 12 months, he has plans to visit other locations, and possibly expand beyond the Mid North Coast.
"From time to time, I will be performing at the major shopping centres in Port Macquarie and nearby townships, northbound up to Grafton, southbound up to Taree and westbound up to Tamworth," Murray said.
"I will try to do this project continuously, and look at other locations in the eastern part of Australia.
"If I can, I will stick with The Smith Family for years to come, until I'm 150 years old if needed.
"I will never retire; it's so important that we help children and young Australians for the sake of their futures."
For more information on The Smith Family, head over to their website.
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