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Huge fundraiser to aid farmers

WHEN Mirboo East residents Brenton and Kat Gration joined on to assist charity group Aussie Helpers in delivering much needed supplies to struggling farmers, little did they know how much of an impact they would have across the country.
An endeavor that started with making several deliveries a week across Victoria quickly turned into supplying more than 50 loads of necessities to desperate farmers as far away as Queensland.
Now Mr and Mrs Gration, owners of Gration Transport, are putting on a fundraiser at Mirboo North on Saturday, September 22 where people can donate anything from money and water, to canned goods and dog food.
“Our plan is to park our B-double truck in Mirboo North and hopefully have people fill it entirely with supplies,” Kat Gration said.
“It’s going to be a whole event. We have the Mirboo North scout group putting on a sausage sizzle, the Mirboo North Pony Club will be offering rides, the local CFA are bringing the fire truck for the kids and there will be live music as well.”
Money donated from the event will be split between Aussie Helpers and the Gippsland Farmers Relief, while supplies will go to the two charities, plus some of the Grations’ struggling customers. While the event is being held in Mirboo North, the Grations are hoping to encompass residents all across Gippsland.
It’s been a whirlwind six months for the Grations, who have appeared on Channel Seven’s Sunrise program and in newspapers across the country for their charitable efforts – including supplying watermelons to farmers.
“We came across an opportunity to buy watermelons in bulk and I thought it may be a good idea to feed them to dying livestock,” Mrs Gration said.
“It’s obviously not perfect, but at the very least the livestock can get some basic nutrients and moisture to survive off for a while. It’s not about fattening the animals up; it’s simply about keeping them alive.”
Mrs Gration said while the watermelons had been useful, their supply has started to dry up, along with other traditional food sources like hay and grain.
“Most people don’t realise just how dire the situation truly is, even with all the reporting on the news,” Mrs Gration said.
“We are out of hay, out of grain, and pretty much out of watermelons and other vegetables as well. That’s why we are doing this fundraiser, because farmers’ lives depend on it.”
Mr Gration said farmers barely have enough water to offer him a drink.
“When I drop supplies off its not uncommon for them to say ‘I’d offer you a coffee or water but we don’t really have any’. I’ve seen farmers forced to drink and bathe from troughs, and kill off hundreds of their livestock and bury them in massive holes because they simply can’t keep them from starving,” he said.
The work the Grations have done over the previous six months has taken a toll on both their business and their lives, but they say they cannot possibly stop with so many people in need.
“We’ve forked out about $500,000 of our own money on hay, grain and watermelons,” Mrs Gration said.
“Our customers can’t afford to pay us back straight away but we know that they need our supplies to survive. It’s such a tough position to be in because we still have to pay our bills, but at the same time we know how desperately they rely on our deliveries.”
The Grations are hoping to see around 5000 people turn up to Mirboo North for the event and raise around $10,000 in total. The event will be held 10.30am to 2.30am on Saturday, September 22 at Baromi Park in Mirboo North.

Incredible effort: Brenton and Kat Gration of Mirboo East have been hauling tonnes of supplies to struggling farmers across Australia and are now asking for Gippslanders’ help with an upcoming fundraiser.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=25782

Posted by on Sep 11 2018. Filed under Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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