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South Burnett Helps To Pay It Forward

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Hay Run fundraiser Gina Gleich presents Brendan Farrell with a $5000 cheque from Cornett's IGA Supermarket after Saturday's fundraiser in Murgon

February 29, 2016

“Don’t pay it back, pay it forward” … that was the spur for Burrumbuttock farmer Brendan Farrell to deliver a load of hay to a struggling family at Bourke three years ago.

The Burrumbuttock Hay Run is now legendary with the next run to western Queensland expected to have 240 prime movers pulling a total of 368 trailers.

And the South Burnett will again be represented, with trucks and hay.

Brendan was the special guest at a Burrumbuttock Hay Run fun day fundraiser held in Murgon at the weekend

Organisers are still counting the funds collected but they hope between $10,000 and $15,000 was raised.

The twin Golf Day and Bowls Day will help to pay for fuel for the next run.

Cheques were also donated from Cornetts SupaIGA in Murgon ($5000) and Murgon Apex ($3000).

The hay runs began after Brendan’s pregnant wife was diagnosed with a brain tumour.

Their son was born in an intensive care unit in a Sydney hospital.

People had provided him with food and accommodation while she was in hospital and told him “don’t pay it back, pay it forward”.

After he returned home to Burrumbuttock in the Riverina, he saw a report about a young family in Bourke who were struggling to survive with drought.

“I had hay in the shed. I had a truck. That’s how it started. One truckload of hay to one farmer. Now the nation is behind it,” Brendan said.

Since then there have been 10 hay runs and more than 7500 farmers in NSW and Queensland have been assisted.

The South Burnett contingent will leave on March 30 to overnight at Wyandra in south-west Queensland where it will meet up with other groups travelling from other parts of Queensland, NSW and a few from even further afield.

The convoy, which will stretch about 140km end-to-end, will then depart for Ilfracombe where it’s expected to arrive on April 1.

* * *

The fundraising day at Murgon was organised by Paul Gleich and his wife Gina (from Murgon-based Gleich Contracting which took part in the January hay run), Gina’s sister Kristy Frahm, from Proston, and a whole bunch of their friends.

It attracted more than 65 lawn bowlers and 50 golfers, in sweltering conditions.

In the afternoon, entertainment kicked off at the golf club featuring Amber Goldsmith and Amanda Faulkner, followed by a barbecue dinner and then more music from local band Deal’n.

A courtesy bus ferried lawn bowlers back to the golf club so they could join in the evening fun, which included raffles and an auction.

Kristy emphasised that donations had come from all over the South Burnett, not just Murgon.

“I’m astonished at people’s generosity,” Kristy told southburnett.com.au

“It makes me really proud to live here.”

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New bowler Roza Lear gets an affectionate squeeze from Murgon Bowls Club president Alan Mitchell at the start of the day's fun, which saw both Murgon's bowls and golf clubs hosting different activities

Gina Gleich was at the bowls club early in the day to make sure everything went smoothly, accompanied by Louisa Frahm, Sophie Gleich and Jamie Atkins

Colin Rewald, who has been the club's greenkeeper for 37 years, chatted with Terry Lear over lunch; the club's green was named in Colin's honour late last year

Meanwhile, over at the golf club, famous cricketer Carl Rackemann ferried refreshments around the course to thirsty golfers like Paul Bishop

Mark Hasenkam and Malika Phimpan formed a team with Elizabeth and Clowry Kennell; Clowry is the Golf Club's president

Gina and Paul Gleich presented Brendan Farrell with an open cheque at the end of the day's proceedings; they estimate the day raised between $10,000 and $15,000 but will have to add up all the figures

Cr Kathy Duff presented Brendan with a surprise basket of work clothes later in the evening so he'd "scrub up well" on the next Hay Run ...

... and then Hay Run drivers Greg Lang, Michael Ferguson and Jodi Finnegan cut a cake, watched by Brendan Farrell and Paul Gleich


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3 Responses to South Burnett Helps To Pay It Forward

  1. Jenny

    As an ex-South Burnett resident and now recipient of the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners’ hay deliveries, can I just say thank you so much to my former community for your care and support.’ Our turn will come when we can ‘pay it forward’ and we will all jump at the opportunity. Thank you again.

  2. Sandy Towell

    Boots’n Bulldust – Seeds of Hope has collected cartons of goods to go to drought stricken farmers. How can I get them to the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners for delivery?

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