Humble Graeme's top gong just reward for Tractor Trek's driving force

GRAEME Eggleston is not one to look for rewards in his community service and shies away from accolades, but all those who know how passionate he is about Camp Quality are thrilled after he was named as the Fundraising Institute of Australia’s volunteer of the year.

The FIA awards are designed to recognise outstanding and innovative efforts of Australian fund-raisers, volunteers and organisations.

As the driving force behind the annual Tractor Trek, which has raised more than $173,000 so far for Camp Quality, Mr Egglestone certainly meets the criteria.

Mr Eggleston was on hand at Orange’s Australia Day celebrations in Cook Park to accept an award on behalf of Tractor Trek, which won the event section of the awards.

He also accepted the Bush Spirit Award on behalf of the Tractor Trek team.

“When we started the Tractor Trek I could never have imagined that it would grow to be an event the size it is today,” he said.

“But none of it would be possible without all the fantastic volunteers we have working for the trek,” he said.

Mr Eggleston says he has been inspired in his work for Camp Quality by Martha Brown.

“She is the doyen of fund-raising for Camp Quality,” he said.

Mr Eggleston and his wife first met Mrs Brown when they decided to support one of the regular Camp Quality trivia nights at the Royal Hotel.

“We kept going back and gradually got more and more involved,” he said.

Already plans are well underway for this year’s trek which will head off from the Australian National Field Days site on September 18 and head out to Bowen Park, Cudal then on to Murga, south to Forbes, on to Eugowra then Goologong.

Mr Eggleston is  heavily involved in the logistics of liaising with various councils and the Roads and Maritime Services to ensure the trek runs smoothly. He’s also heavily involved with organising the volunteers.

“I can’t stress enough how all we do for the Tractor Trek is a team effort,” he said.

Organising accommodation and meals for the 130 drivers and volunteers also means fine tuning the trek’s schedule.

But Mr Eggleston’s commitment to Camp Quality doesn’t end with the Tractor Trek. He also organises fund days and the transport to and from camp for children living with cancer.

If you would like to become involved in this year’s Tractor Trek and find out more about Camp Quality go to www.campquality.org.au

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