UPDATE November 10: A BENDIGO man’s 29-day run from Port Augusta in South Australia to the Bendigo Jockey Club has resulted in a more than $32,000 donation to assist farmers.
The final Herd to Bendigo fundraising tally was a personal best for Joel Bertoncini, who raised $28,000 for Cancer Council Victoria three years ago by running from Sydney to Kyneton in memory of his best friend’s father, Peter Connor snr.
Aussie Helpers is the recipient of this year’s efforts, which were just above .
“It feels amazing that so many people supported me on my journey,” Mr Bertoncini said.
“It's a cause that's close to my heart. To see the end tally over 32,000 makes me feel proud of what I can give back to others.”
Herd to Bendigo was inspired by one of Mr Bertoncini’s friends, whose parents are dairy farmers in Deniliquin.
A picture of the drought conditions at their dairy farm in New South Wales accompanied the campaign’s final tally announcement on social media
“If you know a Farmer, please make yourself known to them,” the post said.
“Share a cuppa, ask if they're ok. All across Australia people are losing their livelihoods, their crops, their animals, their lives. Our farmers keep this country alive and we hope to do all we can to keep them alive”.
To donate to Aussie Helpers, click here.
CUP DAY: BENDIGO Cup day has always been one of the highlights of Joel Bertoncini’s social calendar.
But, with running the home straight of the Bendigo Jockey Club marking the end of 29 consecutive days of running, the Bendigo man found being track-side this year all the more enjoyable.
Family and friends were there to cheer him on as he mustered up the strength to run the last few metres of what has been a 1010 kilometre journey.
Mr Bertoncini set himself the challenge of running from Port Augusta, in South Australia, to Bendigo on cup day to raise money and support for farmers.
Herd to Bendigo has raised more than $25,000 for Aussie Helpers, a charity assisting Australian farming families.
Mr Bertoncini said the farmers he had encountered along the way were appreciative of his efforts.
“A farmer waited on the side of the road and gave us $50 and started crying and said thank you for what you’re doing,” he said.
He said he had noticed how dry the areas he had run through already looked.
The run proved to be quite the challenge for Mr Bertoncini, having sustained an injury before he set off on October 3.
“But I ran through it, with the pain,” he said.
“When you commit to something you have to do it.”
But he doesn’t expect to be doing another charity run like Herd to Bendigo any time soon.
Mr Bertoncini raised more than $28,000 for Cancer Council Victoria with a run from Sydney to Kyneton in memory of his best friend’s father, Peter Connor snr, in 2015.
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