Aussie Spirit: Truckie drought relief endeavour

By: Cobey Bartels

The legends at MK Trucking and the Frankston Bombers Football Club have joined forces for the ‘HAY! Let’s look after ‘em’ fundraising effort aimed at getting much-needed hay to Bourke.


The idea came about when MK Trucking owners Mick and Mark Kaandorp were chatting with one of their subcontractors, owner-driver Tony Fulton, who put the idea to them.

Tony is known for his ‘Tones Truckin Stories’ Facebook page, posting refreshingly informative trucking videos with plenty of humour, and he decided he could use the page to help raise awareness for the hay run.

A couple of trucks, some fundraising and a bit of compassion are enough to make a big difference for a few farmers, the guys thought, and so they set off planning how they’d pull it off.

After creating a GoFundMe page, Tony took the idea to Frankston Bombers Football Club President Chris Sharman who jumped straight on-board.

"Between MK Trucking who I subby for and the footy club, we all decided to come together," Tony says.

"There are a fair few people at the club who know some of the farmers and after speaking, we decided to put our heads together."

The plan, Tony explains, is to raise enough money across the month of August to get 50 tonnes of hay to remote stations in Bourke.

"We’ll donate our time and two trucks to use, and we’ll raise money to get the fuel and hay covered," he says.

"It was just an idea but then we made a couple of phone calls and had a good response; four days into it we’ve raised two grand, the videos have had a fair bit of activity and there have been a few donations from people I don’t even know firsthand.

"If we were screaming out for help we’d help each other, so why not help the other Aussies out struggling.

"It’s been really positive to see people getting behind it and  we’re confident between the club and the company we’ll be able to raise around the $15,000 to $20,000 mark and if there is anything left over we will donate it to the Rotary Club of Sydney Rural Community Support Programme."

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MK Trucking co-owner Mick Kaandorp says they had the gear to cart hay already and it wasn’t much use sitting back not helping.

"We might as well get involved and do our part," Mick says.

"If everybody helps out and if enough of us are doing it, things will change and it might get easier for our farmers.

"It’s a chain reaction and we have the gear you’d cart hay on so it makes sense - We really should be getting involved."

Frankston Bombers President Chris Sharman says the club has always helped those in need and with friends being affected firsthand by drought he had to step up.

"We’ve always helped out whoever needs some support and over the past ten years it’s usually been people in the club who’ve been sick or needed some financial assistance.

"I have a place up the bush in Victoria and mates in rural NSW so the country is pretty close to my heart.

"When Tony and I got chatting and he said "well I’ve got the truck and you’ve got the contacts," I knew we could run a fundraiser and help a few stations out there."

To donate to the ‘HAY! Let’s look after ‘em’ fundraiser the guys have set up, click here.

Owner//Driver will bring you updates on the fundraising efforts of the team and let you know how they progress.

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