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Doing the hard yards for Kokoda

By EMMA CORNFORD

IN LESS than three weeks, a group of somewhat foolhardy Graftonians will trek through the mountainous jungle of Papua New Guinea, following the Kokoda Track.

They will be helping to raise money for the ambulance station and hospital and are currently in the long and arduous process of training for one of the world's most difficult treks.

In the meantime, fundraising efforts are going strong and tonight more than 80 prizes will be given away in the monster raffle draw at the South Grafton Ex-Servicemen's Club from 7pm.

Ambulance officer Mel Rogers, who is going on the trip, said prizes would range from holidays to eskies.

"There's also theme park entry passes, framed prints and gift vouchers. There's all kinds of stuff," she said.

"Tickets will be on sale at Shoppingworld all day and at the club on the night."

Ms Rogers said people would also be able to have their picture taken with Bundy, the polar bear who was recently kidnapped from the Grafton police station.

Tour Organiser Rob Brown said businesses around Grafton had provided fantastic support so far, with around $12,000 already raised to go towards equipment for the Grafton ambulance station and Grafton Base Hospital.

"We're hoping to continue fundraising after we get back, maybe until the end of the year," Mr Brown said.

"We have a golf day planned for when we get back which will hopefully raise a fair bit ... and Bunnings are hoping to hold a big raffle for us as well."

The group will take around nine days to hike the length of the gruelling Kokoda Track, which is 100km of ascents, decents and river crossings.

Anyone wishing to make a donation can leave it in one of the change tins at businesses throughout Grafton. Any businesses who would like to sponsor the group can contact Rob Brown on 0428664232.



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