by S Lowe 5THE FM newsonline wattlerangenow
Millicent Lions Club will join Kingston, Hahndorf and Pinnaroo Lions Clubs on the tractor run to the Birdsville Races. The tractor run was first held 25 years ago when Peter Guyett had to make an emergency trip to see his son who was seriously ill and the idea to support the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) became a reality. The inaugural tractor trip raised $28,000 for the RFDS. Ralph also has a personal reason to support the RFDS; on his way back from Adelaide after a business trip, he watched the RFDS fly overhead not knowing his wife had taken seriously ill and was on that plane.
“The RFDS saved her life,” he said.
“With what’s happening to our medical services in the south east we’ll be more dependent on the RFDS than ever.” said Ralph. “Our lives depend on it and we never know when it might be our family or ourselves that may need it.”
The Millicent Lions team leave at 7-00 am on Friday 21st August and their first overnight stop is Kingston on the same day. The team consists of Allan Megason, Clayton White, Ron Cowin, Wally Lange, Peter Guyett, Gary Davis and Ralph Domaschenz.
They will all meet up along the way and travel from Mannum together.
Peter and Ralph joined Chappy at 5THE FM today and when pushed for some inside details about the trip, the men said they live by the rule -‘what happens over the Hatherleigh Bridge, stays over the Hatherleigh Bridge’!
The intrepid travellers will take 10 days to reach Birdsville, sleeping in swags at caravan parks, in shearing sheds and on roadsides, just in time for the races and then after a day or two of R & R they’ll return in the support vehicles. The four support vehicles are personally owned by the Lions members who will pay for their own vehicle expenses.
The journey is 1600 kilometres each way and “we have the slowest tractor, a Farmall 1950, its top speed is about 18k/hour,” they said.
Major sponsors are Millicent Lions Club $2500, Rivoli Bay Lions Club $2500, and Sebastopol Machinery who provided the mechanical work to get the tractor ready for the journey which included a brand new comfortable seat. Individual sponsor ship is almost $2300-00 to date. Millicent Lions are sponsoring the fuel for their tractor. The overall total raised so far is almost $7000-00 and their aim is ‘what ever they can make’ they said today but, to beat the last total of $28,000-00 would be very good the men agreed.
Sponsorship can be paid at 5THE FM 31 Railway Tce Millicent. Lions have provided the 5THE FM with the official documentation including the RFDS receipt book. The office is open from Tuesday to Friday or you can call 8733 4077 to arrange sponsorship or donations for the RFDS.