$41K FOR RFDS

Mas­sive $41K raised in 14th year

Balonne Beacon - - FRONT PAGE -

WHEN Deb and Steve Burnes brought pig races to the Nindigully pub in 2004, they had no idea just how big their an­nual fundrais­ing ef­fort would get.

On the week­end they marked their 14th an­nual fundraiser and, by 8pm, they told the 900 strong crowd they had smashed their own record, mak­ing $11,000 more than last year, with a fi­nal fig­ure of $41,479.45

Prid­ing them­selves on their hon­est con­tri­bu­tion, the Burnes said they couldn’t do it with­out the sup­port of their friends and lo­cals, as well as the ‘fam­ily’ of sup­port­ers who came out each year.

Six races were run over the day, with en­ter­tain­ment in be­tween.

There is an op­por­tu­nity for peo­ple to bid for a pig be­fore each race, with the jack­pot for the race split evenly be­tween the win­ner and the RFDS.

“Our record pig went for $1200 in the last race.”

Steve said the day was a huge suc­cess and that he was pleased to see so many peo­ple turn out to sup­port the event and the RFDS.

“In the last race for ex­am­ple we had a young guy win the $2200 prize and he do­nated all that money straight back.

“You just don’t ex­pect the young peo­ple to do that, so that was great.”

Steve said the re­ac­tion the crowd gave when the fi­nal fig­ure was an­nounced was emo­tional.

“Peo­ple were cry­ing, I’ve never seen so many peo­ple in tears for hav­ing raised money.

“I think be­cause we are so pas­sion­ate about this cause, that flows on to the peo­ple who work for us, which flows onto our vis­i­tors.

“It was a truly great ef­fort and that money has al­ready made it to the RFDS, which is in­cred­i­ble.”

PHOTO: KELLY EATHER

THEY’RE RAC­ING: The pig races are a high­light on the south­west event ca­lan­der.

PHOTO: SHELLY DAVIS

The crowd en­joyed some great en­ter­tain­ment.

PHOTO: KELLY EATHER

Tak­ing a short re­prieve from the sun to sit in the shade.

PHOTO: SHELLY DAVIS

The fa­mous Goanna Pull game.

PHOTO: KELLY EATHER

On­look­ers get in on the fun.

PHOTO: KELLY EATHER

There was some­thing at the Gully for ev­ery­one.

PHOTO: KELLY EATHER

Pigs were ready to race.

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