McGrath Foundation benefits from Pink Pigeon Festival of Events

Thanks to the Pink Pigeon Committee which includes Narromine Shire Council, the 9th annual Pink Pigeon Race attracted a large crowd and raised plenty of money for the McGrath Foundation.

Wind was no deterrent and the event on Saturday 5 January attracted hundreds of visitors. Narromine Shire Council’s Deputy Mayor, Dawn Collins opened the event.

“For the past 9 years, the Narromine and Trangie communities have come together and supported the breast cancer foundation,” said Cr Collins.

“It’s believed that the Pink Pigeon Festival of Events has raised over $150 000 in its 9 years, which is a fabulous achievement,” she said.

“The Pink Pigeon Race Day was instigated by Shane Dalton of Trangie, the pigeon whisperer from the bush!”

“He came up with the idea of racing his homing pigeons from Narromine to Trangie, all in aid of the McGrath Foundation.This event has grown over the past 9 years, with more events and attractions added to the festivities,” said Cr Collins.

During the race, 12 homing pigeons were released from Dundas Park in Narromine and raced to Trangie. There was also a free breakfast, jumping castle and a family farm for children to enjoy.

The race conditions were very stressful with the pigeons running aground until more favourable conditions were achieved.The top 3 pigeons made it home to Trangie, placing as follows:

1.Jason Gillespie

2.Ricky Ponting

3.Mel McLaughlin

The other pigeons trickled in at the eleventh hour. Everyone was very concerned with Glenn McGrath’s whereabouts. However, after being missing for nearly 24 hours, he finally made it home.All pigeons are now home safe and sound and all accounted for.

The event concluded with an evening of Twilight Bowls at Trangie Bowling Club, where the winning pigeons were announced.

The Pink Pigeon Festival of Events has raised $12 000 this year for the McGrath Foundation.

As well as the Race Day, the Festival included a series of further events.

On Sunday 9 December, the festival began with a 3 person Ambrose Golf Tournament and Calcutta, held at the Narromine Golf Club. 78 golfers attended on a very hot Sunday afternoon.

The day concluded with a Calcutta, where the pink pigeons were auctioned.Tim Wiggins and Peter Cruickshank were the auctioneers and provided plenty of entertainment as they called for bids on the pigeons, who were aptly named after the Channel 7 Cricket commentators! The highest paid bird of the evening was pigeon Mel McLaughlin, purchased for $480 from a Narromine syndicate.

On Monday 10 December, 7 pink lambs kindly donated by Tony Ferrari, Scott Purseglove, Paul Bartlett and the Flynn family kept the fundraising going at the Pink Pigeon Charity Sheep Sale. The lambs were dressed in pink and auctioned off by Peter Cruikshank at the Dubbo Saleyards.The 7 prized pink lambs raised $5 060, with all proceeds going to the McGrath Foundation.

“Council is pleased to be involved in the event by providing event support through organisation, promotion and advertising,” said Narromine Shire Council’s General Manager, Jane Redden.

“The festival of events is a great way for our community to come together, enjoy a range of activities and support the McGrath Foundation to ensure that breast cancer nurses are available in Central West NSW,” she said.