Moree Drought Muster: Donations flow for McGregor Gourlay Moree Drought Muster campaign for drought-affected farmers

When Bree Pring, Tegan George and Maddison Richards decided to do something to help drought-affected Moree families, little did they know just how much support they would receive, not only from the local community, but from kind-hearted people hours away.

In the four weeks since the Moree Drought Muster kicked off, the McGregor Gourlay team has been overwhelmed by offers of donations from people near and far.

Not only have Moree businesses, community groups and schools been getting behind the fundraising effort, but people from cities and coastal areas have jumped on board to do what they can to help out.

“On Saturday we had a delivery from Newcastle, on Wednesday we had one from the Gold Coast and on Monday we’re getting one from the Central Coast,” Ms Pring said.

“A ladies group from Lennox Head donated 22 pamper packs for ladies.”

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Among some of the items donated is two pallets of dog food, a pallet of stock feed, $5,500 worth of gift vouchers, and a $5,000 donation from AxiChem which was used to purchase stock feed.

“We’ve been absolutely inundated with items,” Ms Pring said.

“Everything that everyone has given has been so amazing.”

So far the team has packed a total of 45 boxes ready to be distributed to families in need throughout the Moree District.

Ms Pring estimates they have enough items to pack about 80 boxes, far more than they ever anticipated.

“We were hoping to cater for 20 families and we’ve already packed 45 boxes,” she said.

“When we sat down and said we need to do something, we had no idea it’d blow up and be this big.

“It’s been amazing and really emotional.

“When the guys came from the Gold Coast with two ute loads full of stuff, it was really tough to see that support. It’s overwhelming.

“And the fact that we’ve had so much support out of the city is a big thing.

“I’m just speechless.”

The Drought Muster team currently has a list of about 35 to 40 families they plan to distribute packs to, however, with enough items for more than 80 boxes, they are now on the hunt for more families who may need help.

“We will be heading out to Collarenebri but we’re having trouble finding people out Mungindi, Boomi way willing to put their hand up to say we need help,” Ms Pring said.

“We want to do what we can to help anyone in need. We don’t want to upset them, we want them to keep their pride, but we want them to let us help if we can.”

The packs won’t be distributed until after the Moree Drought Muster auction night, set to be held at Pallamallawa’s Golden Grain Hotel, aka the Pally Pub, on Saturday, August 25.

The event will kick off at 5pm with live entertainment by Joh and Kylie Hogan.

The auction, featuring more than 16 items of goods donated by Moree businesses, will get underway at 7.30pm, before DJ Dean continues the party well into the night.

The evening will be emceed by Col Pring, while Andrew Pitman, Luke Whan and Hamish Hosegood will conduct the auction.

Three kegs of beer has been donated for the event – two by McGregor Gourlay and the third from one of the pub’s suppliers.

All funds raised from the auction, beer and sausage sizzle will go towards the Drought Muster, likely for the purchase of stock feed.

Ms Pring said any money they raise will be welcome.

“But it’s not just about that; it’s an excuse for people to come out and support a really good cause in a little country town and to have some fun,” she said.

There will be a bus leaving the Royal Hotel Moree at 4.30pm for those needing a lift out to the Pally Pub. Tickets are $5 per person and can be purchased through McGregor Gourlay.

If you would like to contribute to the Moree Drought Muster, donations can be dropped off at McGregor Gourlay Moree, on the corner of the Newell Highway and Carol Avenue. The Drought Muster team will continue to muster donations until the end of August.

Ms Pring would like to say a huge thank you to the whole community for getting behind the cause, and said every little bit helps.

“There’s no words to share the appreciation for what this community is doing,” she said.

For more information on the muster or the auction, call McGregor Gourlay on 6750 8000 or go to the Moree Drought Muster Facebook page.