Some people run marathons, others shave their heads while Belmore River beef producer Darren Sutherland grows fat bullocks to raise money for cancer.
When Mr Sutherland’s mother Cheryl passed away in 2014 he wanted to do something in her memory – he started to grow charity bullocks.
“For mum, it was a short cancer, she was diagnosed in May and died in December so I set this up in mum’s memory,” Mr Sutherland said.
“Growing bullocks was something I could do to help raise money for cancer and give back in my own way.”
In 2015 he selected a steer from his herd and put on the best feed for the 2016 Kempsey Ray White steer and bullock feature sale.
It went under the hammer for around $1900, which was a figure matched by Ray White.
But it didn’t stop there.
The Sutherlands were blown away by the generosity of locals who donated their days wages or gave what they could for a “bucket” drive.
In three years they raised $15,000 but today, this year’s bullock weighing 850 kilograms saw them smash $20,000. The bullock sold for $2092.70 to Milly Hill Meats, with Ray White again matching the money.
“I miss my mum every day but by doing this, it keeps her memory alive and helps not only raise money for cancer research but awareness about an insidious disease that no one should have to go through,” Mr Sutherland said.
“My wife Rebecca and I are overwhelmed by the support shown by our community.”
Mrs Sutherland said watching her husband lose his mother to cancer was heartbreaking.
“I’m so proud of what he has achieved and the effort he has gone to growing out the steers over the years,” Mrs Sutherland said.
“Everyone we know has been touched by cancer in some way and this is just our way to help find a cure.”