Swampy's Brave Hearts return home

TWO Penola men and their team have been putting their feet up after a successful fundraiser for cancer.

The team Swampy's Brave Hearts have returned home from a very successful, fun-filled trip down the Murray River from Mildura to Goolwa. 

Consisting of Penola's Graham Hinze and Doug Redman and fellow prostate cancer survivor Malcolm Porter of Mount Gambier, Adelaide pair Geoff Berkin and Terry Waddington (Adelaide) Prostate Cancer Australia chief officer Dr Anthony Lowe from Sydney, the team left Mildura on Feb 22 and arrived in Goolwa on March 1. 

The event know as the Murray Meander raises fund for prostate cancer research and breast cancer retreats. 

There are over 20 retreats in Victoria, New South Wales and SA where women and their partners can spend time away at virtually no cost. These retreats are run by the OTIS Foundation of Victoria.

Mr Hinze reported a very successful excursion by Swampy's Brave Hearts.

"As a team we raised in excess of $10,000, which was the fourth highest out of the 28 teams that participated in the event," he said.

"(That took) the overall total to in excess of $1,000,000 in the nine years the event has been going, which we were very happy about.

He said this would not have been possible without the donation of a boat by Colin and Rosie Wright of Swampy's Hire and Leisure in Naracoorte. 

"We would also like to thank all those that have supported us in various fundraising events whether it is a raffle, at a barbecue or a simple donation," Mr Hinze said. 

"It is also people like Noel Barr Toyota in Mount Gambier who provided a free service for one of the support vehicles.

"The event was not only about raising funds but promoting the awareness of both prostate cancer and breast cancer and indeed all cancers." 

Mr Hinze said with up to 150 people about in their pink and blue shirts the locals were asking questions and the info and awareness provided along the Murray would be invaluable.

The group met and spoke to representatives of the Masonic Lodge in Renmark, the Lions Club in Waikerie and members of the Murray Bridge Prostate Cancer Support Group at Mannum and Murray Bridge.

There were the usual mishaps along the way with the odd boat running onto a sand bar or motor trouble, but the biggest disappointment was the cancellation of the final leg across Lake Alexandrina due to rough weather.

Otis Foundation general manager Loreena Bloomfield joined the trip and provided valuable information about the breast cancer retreats. Further details can be found at www.otisfoundation.org.au.

Information on the Murray Meander can also be found here or contact Graham Hinze hinzepen@yahoo.com.au 8737 2779.

"Anyone who has travelled along the river will appreciate the scenery but it was the camaraderie and friendship between the various teams that will tempt us to enter next year," Mr Hinze said. 

The six team members each contributed $1000 to cover the basic cost of the trip with all fundraising money going to the two charites.

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