For every kilometre he has clocked on his pink Massey Ferguson Hugh Bateman has raised more than $100 for the McGrath Foundation.
Hugh heads for home tomorrow hovering at a $270,000 tally – exceeding his $250,000 goal to fund more breast cancer care nurses.
“I would love to reach $300,000,” Hugh told the Guardian from the road.
“I’ve been involved in fundraising in Mudgee for many years and Mudgee people are so generous but to see that displayed in other areas has blown me away.
“Everywhere I have gone people have been so generous. I’ve had ex-Mudgee people come and say hello, some who I haven’t seen for more than 30 years.
“The generosity and faith of people is absolutely incredible, I really have seen another side to life.”
He’s gone beyond his anticipated 2600km course meeting the Premier Mike Baird and Glen McGrath on Queenscliff Beach and been recognised by the speaker of NSW parliament.
But it’s the emotional meetings with breast cancer survivors and women undergoing treatment that have stuck with him.
“Those meetings have been very emotional,” Hugh said.
“I have continually said it but it’s ringing truer as I go on ‘everyone knows someone who has been affected by breast cancer’.”
This week he has negotiated roadworks through Nambucca Head to Coffs Harbour and back, down the Pacific Highway.
A five-minute coffee break in Bonny Hills produced a $150 donation from cafe owners.
“There have been so many highlights, highway patrol pulling me over at Griffith doing 30km/h to donate, the RMS pulling me over to donate at Wollongong and truckies pulling me over to donate,” he said.
“I can now say unequivocally if someone doesn’t know where Mudgee is what the McGrath Foundation is they’ve been living under a rock.”
Hugh visits Scone today before making the journey back to Mudgee. He is due to arrive in town at 11am Saturday flanked by a procession from the antique tractor patrol.
A welcome home morning tea will be held at the Property Shop with gold coin donations appreciated.
To donate visit pinktractortrek.com.au