MONDAY’S cattle sale at the SA Livestock Exchange, Dublin, had a special purpose, with one vendor on a mission to raise funds for his grandson.
Trevor Nixon runs a feedlot at Ardrossan, as well as the Wheatsheaf Hotel at Price. He is determined to support his grandson Riley Nixon, 3, who contracted meningococcal disease almost two years ago.
“I bought some weaner calves 12 months ago at Dublin from a northern station and put them in the feedlot,” Mr Nixon said. “They were bought specifically to raise funds for Riley and made nearly $4500 on Monday.”
Mr Nixon said he was pleased by the amount raised.
“We were very lucky, the auctioneer announced who the funds would be going towards and everyone who bid was very generous,” he said.
These funds will go into a trust for Riley, to go towards his medical treatments.
Mr Nixon said his grandson had shown fighting spirit since he contracted the disease.
“On Mother’s Day in 2016 I had lunch with Riley at the pub. He was crook about midnight that night and by midday the following day he was on life support,” he said.
“It started with fairly severe vomiting and by the time he was rushed to the Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Adelaide, a rash had started to come out.”
Riley went on to spend 197 days in the hospital during his recovery.
Mr Nixon has held a range of fundraisers for Riley.
“We had a race day at Morphettville a couple of months ago,” he said.
Another fundraiser – Ride for Riley – had grown hugely since starting in 2016.
“It began as a motorbike run, but also included cars last year,” Mr Nixon said.
“The third event will be on in September this year.
“It’s been very successful, we started with 74 people taking part in the first year, last year we had 174 and this year it looks like exceeding 200.”
The ride starts at Kadina, and goes on to other Yorke Peninsula towns including Price and Ardrossan before heading back to Kadina.
“The first year we raised about $4000 and last year it was nearly $6500,” Mr Nixon said.
Another extremely successful fundraiser was a “grain fund”, which started in the 2016-17 harvest, with YP farmers donating a portion of their crops. It has raised nearly $45,000.
“We had one grower who donated three tonnes of lentils,” Mr Nixon said.
The grain fund is going again this year from the 2017-18 harvest.
Mr Nixon said he was very appreciative of all the support.
“Riley’s got a long way to go, with a lot of big costs coming up, so it’s important to have the trust fund for him,” he said.