Racing pigeons have taken to the skies as the communities of Narromine and Trangie dug deep for the McGrath Foundation this year.
A fervent wish to see more breast care nurses sparked donations of more than $10,000 at the ninth annual Pink Pigeon Race at Narromine and related fundraising activities.
The sum collected will go to the McGrath Foundation, bringing it closer to its $2 million target for 2019.
Organiser Shane Dolton of Trangie was thrilled at the result, especially considering the towns are suffering a long period of drought.
There was a good crowd on hand for the start of the pigeon race at Dundas Park at Narromine, he said.
The park was awash with pink, a forerunner of scenes at the Sydney Cricket Ground, where Jane McGrath Day was held.
Narromine Shire Council had provided a free breakfast, with families enjoying the activities and the atmosphere was “anticipation-plus” ahead of the release of the “12 elite racing pigeons”.
Pigeon whisperer Allan Barnes from Sydney did the honours, letting the pigeons out for the start of the race.
In tough weather conditions, the bird named ‘Jason Gillespie’ came away with the honours, making it back to the Trangie loft first with a time of two hours and 13 minutes.
“All pigeons made it home safe and sound and slept very well,” Mr Dolton said.
While the birds rested, the people of Trangie continued to show their support for the charity.
They played pink bowls at the Trangie Bowling Club, raising more than $4000, Mr Dolton said.
“[All up] probably a little over $10,000 has been raised, good in this dry time,” he said.
“I think it’s growing because of the awareness of breast cancer and how much we need the nurses.”