A Moama couple are looking forward to their eighth Murray Meander this weekend.ASHLEA KUNOWSKI February 20, 2013 4:10am
A Moama couple will this weekend compete in the annual Murray Meander for the eighth time, as the event moves into the middle leg of the three year circuit.
Simon and Ellie Bourke have taken part in the event since it began in 2006 and will make the eight-day trek to Mildura this weekend.
The charity event raises funds for Bendigo’s Otis Foundation which provides free retreat accommodation for breast cancer patients and provides funding for the Prostate Cancer Foundation Australia’s oncology nursing scholarships.
Mrs Bourke said the fundraiser was personal, as people close to the family had been affected by cancer.
‘‘We’ve had a few friends of ours have breast cancer and Simon’s father had prostate cancer,’’ she said.
Having participated in the Meander for almost a decade, the Bourke’s say the event has become a big part of their family.
Mrs Bourke said their youngest son, Patrick, had taken part in six out of the total eight event legs.
‘‘It’s been a great experience for him,’’ she said.
‘‘So much to learn out on the river and people skills.’’
The Bourke family has celebrated milestone birthdays over the course of the Meander.
Two years ago, eldest son Jack celebrated his 21st and Simon turned 50.
‘‘It was great, we had a fantastic time,’’ she said.
Mrs Bourke said her family’s participation in the event had been a great experience.
‘‘We’ve enjoyed it, we’ve met lots of fantastic people,’’ she said.
She said the pair looked forward to seeing how this year’s Echuca to Mildura leg will have changed.
‘‘It will be interesting to see what the river will be like this time,’’ she said.
‘‘One year we did this leg and (the river) was extremely low — we had to get out and push.’’
Mrs Bourke said the pair did not plan on stopping any time soon.
‘‘There was always a good reason to do the next one,’’ she said.
This year the Bourke’s will take friends, Angela and Jim Walsh, down the Murray with them for the first time.
Event co-ordinator Dick Phillips said the Bourke family were one of only two families to have taken part in every event.
‘‘The good thing with them is they’ve brought new people into the team most years,’’ he said.
Although team numbers were down this year, with 34 entries, Mr Phillips said the event has drawn entries from places in the state it had not before.
‘‘(There’s) a real cross-section of people,’’ he said.
Crews will set off from the Echuca East boat ramp from noon this Saturday, with boats are expected to arrive in Mildura before 3pm next Saturday.
The sky is the limit for Wanganui Year 12 VCAL student Leigh Polan, 18, who decided to create two posters examining birdlife around the school.
The under 16 Pigeons kick started the YFNC's finals campaign with a resounding victory over the Paul Spargo led Scots College in the Grand Final of the AWJFL Elwyn Langford Shield at the Albury Sports Ground on Sunday.
Greater Shepparton City Council was successful in securing the National Cutting Horse Association Victorian Futurity Cutting Horse Championships for 2014 and 2015, with this year’s event scheduled from September 10-14 at Tatura Park.
An ad for the Healthy Ageing Project will be filmed in Echuca, Rushworth and Rochester today.
More than $15,000 was raised at a family day on Sunday. The event was to raise money for the families of Barry Purtell and Dave Lobb.
Book Week gets colourful turnout.
Deaprtment of Environment and Primary Industries unhappy about Mt Disappointment vandals.
Jerilderie Shire deputy mayor Ruth McRae handed the key over for the new Rural Fire Service station last Friday.
Farmers have a new weapon in the fight against mice.
Cobram kids learn about health with hospital as state-wide obesity campaign is launched.
Murray Irrigation to search for new boss after Anthony Couroupis finishes with the company.
A few anxious customers were outside the closed gates of the failed Bee-Jay Machinery business on Goulburn Valley Hwy in Shepparton on Tuesday morning, wondering what would become of deposits they had paid for tractors and other machinery.
The Benalla Indian Myna Action Group will pay a $1 per bird bounty on live birds delivered to CAL farm. National Party MP Bill Sykes donated $100 to fund the bounty.
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