The call went out and in just days the Scone community showed their true spirit by throwing their support behind a very worthy pink cause.
Only a week prior to its arrival, local couple Rachel and Scott Murdoch started campaigning to raise funds for the Pink Tractor Trek and on Friday when the tractor rolled into town, an impressive $7600 was able to be donated to Hugh Bateman for his initiative.
Mr Bateman is an ordinary country man, a real estate agent from Mudgee in the state’s west, who returned home on Saturday after driving his pink tractor 2900 kilometres from Mudgee to Sydney, up the coast and then home via Scone.
He did it all in the name of breast cancer and after setting a goal to raise $250,000 to fund McGrath Foundation Breast Care Nurses, he was thrilled to raise more than $280,000.
For Mr Bateman, travelling at 27 kilometres per hour in his pink Massey Ferguson 5435, which he bought at an auction and enhanced for the journey, was a small challenge compared to that faced by breast cancer sufferers and their families every day.
Mr Bateman said the trek had been an invigorating experience in terms of the displays of huge generosity from the people.
“It has shown me that there are not many people out there that haven’t been touched by cancer in some way or another.
“The trip was designed around visiting real estate agent friends of mine who put on events to raise funds for the cause,” Mr Bateman said.
Since October 9 Mr Bateman visited real estate agents in Dubbo, Orange, Griffith, Wollongong, Port Stephens, Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie, Long Jetty, Muswellbrook and 15 suburbs in Sydney.
He also stopped off in Sydney at Parliament House and at the McGrath Foundation Head Office in Crows Nest.
He said he chose the Breast Cancer Nurses, because he knows a lot of money is dedicated to research which is important that it continues, however he wanted to find an organisation that provides support to people going through breast cancer.
“There are 105 Breast Care Nurses around Australia and they are all funded by the foundation, which costs more than $13 million each year, so they need the money.
“Breast cancer is a growing epidemic, there have already been 15,000 diagnosed new cases in Australia this year so we are going to need more nurses in the future,” he said.
“Hopefully the funds I raised can be of some help.”
Mr and Mrs Murdoch also overtook their target having set a goal to raise $6000, which they had already reached prior to a small auction that was carried out during a special event to welcome Mr Bateman in Elizabeth Park on Friday.
The park was dressed in pink with community members and the Scone Lions Club showing their generosity to give Mr Bateman a friendly Scone welcome and re-fuel for the final 180 kilometre leg of his journey home to Mudgee on Saturday.
The top priced auction item was a personally signed Glenn McGrath bat, which Mr Bateman had signed by Glenn when he visited Parliament House in Sydney during the trek, selling for $1000 to Garry Devenish.
Mr and Mrs Murdoch said a special thanks to the Lions Club, Vanessa Duggan and the long list of pledges that were gratefully received, as well as all that attended on the day and bid at the auction.
Article from The Scone Advocate, Nov 5, 2015 https://www.sconeadvocate.com.au/story/3471399/pink-passion-pushes-tractor-home