DROVERS’ Run organisers have been blown away by the country’s generosity in the shadow of stark drought conditions.
The formerly biannual fundraiser for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter, has been cranked-up to an annual event and the willingness shown to donate to the service in hard times, demonstrates how valued it is, organiser Jeff Galbraith said.
“You get blown away by people’s generosity,” he said.
“Last night in Wee Waa, Wee Waa’s done it tough for a lot of years, but the auction we had there last night, we raised almost $7000 and a fair bit of that money came from the locals.
“We never underestimate how generous people are, but at the same time they only do it because they recognise the importance of the service to their communities.”
This year’s run has raised $72,000 almost doubling the initial estimate of $40,000.
Across “3500 very hard kilometres”, the 35 drivers took in some very dusty landscapes, but it appeared one region in particular was feeling the drought’s bite more than others.
“I think it opened everyone’s eyes to how bad it is,” Mr Galbraith said.
“Around Tamworth is probably some of the worst areas we’ve seen in the whole time.
“It’s opened their eyes to how far it reaches and a number of our entrants this is their first time in the country we’re seeing what the drought really is about.
“I think they were shocked with some of the stuff they saw.”
Planning is already under way for 2019 with a course taking in the Simpson desert and the Oodnadatta track with potentially 50 cars.