News

Tractor Trek for MND

By Southern Riverina News

Locals will have the opportunity to honour community stalwart, the late Ian Sneddon, by supporting two fundraising events being held in his honour in coming days.

The 68 year-old, who was one of the founders of the Two Rivers Tractor Trek, lost a battle with Motor Neurone Disease last month.

This year the trek is paying homage to Mr Sneddon by changing its official name to the Ian Sneddon Two Rivers Run.

The event traditionally raises money for men’s health — including mental health — but this year will have a wider focus on MND.

The trek starts in Corowa on Sunday morning, making its way to Berrigan by Sunday night for an evening to raise awareness for MND.

This will be followed by a charity auction in Jerilderie on Monday night.

The Two Rivers Tractor Trek continues then to the Murrumbidgee River before travelling south again to finish in Corowa.

Trek co-organiser Noel A’Vard said the 32 entered tractor drivers and fellow support crew will hear from guest speaker Kathy Nightingale, from MND Victoria, in Berrigan on Sunday night.

‘‘People should come along become it’s of interest to everybody,’’ Mr A’Vard said.

‘‘You just never know the way MND works. Ian was fit and healthy, it hit him and he died within 12 months (of diagnosis). MND degenerates the muscles and that can be the end of it.

‘‘The other part of why people should come along is we’re donating money back into men’s mental health charities.

‘‘With everything happening around the basin plan and water, it’s a stressful time for many farmers.’’

The auction in Jerilderie has already generated interest with a high volume of items donated.

Mr A’Vard said that the auction will feature tyres, oils, and vouchers from ‘‘different people in town’’.

He said this year’s event is ‘‘extra special’’ because of the dedicated to Mr Sneddon.

‘‘All of the tractors and people going in the event pay their own way; no money comes out, it stays in the event as a charity run.

‘‘It’s always a good event and we’ve done well raising money over the years.

‘‘The trek was very important to Ian. He set his mind on going on the trip and he organised pretty much most of it.

‘‘It (his death) has hit all of us involved really hard, he was well known right throughout the region.

‘‘He did so much for Jerilderie; he was part of pretty much every committee.’’

The Berrigan event will be held at the Recreation Reserve starting at 7pm Sunday, and the charity auction will be held at the Jerilderie Racecourse from 8pm Monday.

The Ian Sneddon Two Rivers Run will also travel through Coleambally, Narrandera, Morundah and Oaklands.

It is supported by the Riverina, Urana and Corowa Historical Vehicle Vintage Machinery Clubs Inc.