Barmah Muster pulls a crowd and a collection

By Riverine Herald

EVERY man and his horse was drawn to this year’s annual Barmah Muster, making it the biggest and best muster yet.

With events including trail rides, team penning, whip cracking, wood chopping, tent pegging, horse training demonstrations, a camp-oven tea, and yarn spinning on offer — there was plenty to keep busy.

Barmah Forest Cattlemen’s Association treasurer Jenny Bruinier said the event in April this year was a huge success — not only providing an enjoyable weekend for those who attended, but raising $11,400 for a number of different charities.

Ms Bruinier said the committee chose to donate $6500 to Make-A-Wish.

Make-A-Wish Shepparton volunteer Annette Mcdougall said the donation was an incredible blessing to the organisation.

‘‘We are just so, so grateful for people like this that just off the top of the pile choose to give the proceeds of their day to us, it gives me goosebumps,’’ she said.

Ms Mcdougall said the organisation had been in Shepparton for about 25 years and aimed to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses.

As a volunteer of more than 20 years, Ms Mcdougall said she had been honoured to be a part of seeing children having their wishes granted.

‘‘We’ve seen an amazing array of wishes and children receiving things that parents couldn’t even have imagined in their wildest dreams to come true for their child,’’ Ms Mcdougall said.

She said the generous donation was a way of helping the organisation to continue granting wishes, but it was also a way of raising awareness that the organisation existed and played a role in many families’ lives.

‘‘There’s lots of awesome things out there and I think that’s why it’s getting so hard to raise money, hence what a gift this is to us,’’ she said.

‘‘Because every day there’s somebody trying to fund something that’s equally as good or more important in the big picture. But this is very important for these families and I just love being a part of it.’’

Ms Bruinier said she was delighted to hand over the cheque on behalf of the committee knowing it would be contributing to children who deserved to smile.