$30,000 tractor trek

By Southern Riverina News

The Ian Sneddon Two Rivers Run tractor trek has raised more than $30,000 for Motor Neurone Disease (MND) research and men’s mental health.

The biennial trek — which starts and finishes in Corowa and makes its way through Berrigan, Jerilderie, Coleambally and Morundah — paid tribute to founder and Jerilderie legend Ian Sneddon who died in April this year from the disease.

Throughout the trip the 34 drivers on board Massey Fergusons, David Browns, Grey Fergies, Chamberlain and even a Fordson Dexta stopped in towns and invited locals to help raise money.

Organisers say there were a couple of hiccups on day one with some old batteries, but after that the ‘‘tractors worked fine’’.

A special information evening in Berrigan raised $500, while an auction in Jerilderie raised an impressive $6000.

About 80 people attended the Jerilderie auction to bid on electrical items, tool kits and much more.

Co-organiser Noel A’Vard said it was pleasing for the trek to raise so much money for MND research.

‘‘Jerilderie was really successful,’’ Mr A’Vard said.

‘‘Everything was donated from different sponsors and private individuals. Elders’ Nick Gray was the auctioneer and did a superb job.

‘‘To make that sort of money is really special, particularly as Jerilderie was Ian’s town.

‘‘Berrigan went really well. We raffled some prizes to help bring up the $500 total.

‘‘Kathy Nightingale, from MND Victoria, spoke brilliantly and so did Ian’s daughter Julie — both were very informative.’’

Another auction at Corowa on the final night of the trek added to the total, but the highlight of the night came when one man decided to challenge attendees to raise $2000.

If they did, Robert Wright said he would shave half of his beard and hair. They did and ‘Bob the Builder’, as Robert is known, ended up with the right side of his head completely shaved.

‘‘It’s those type of small things we did that helped raise the $30,000,’’ Mr A’Vard said.

‘‘To raise all of the money is wonderful. Hopefully it can be used on research that can help make a positive difference.

‘‘As far as we’re concerned we want to help find a cure, and to maintain Ian’s connection with the trek.

‘‘You also get you learn of so many other people who have been effected by the disease.’’