URBAN and rural dwellers will cross the Great Divide in more ways than one at this year's Gympie Muster, although the divide in question is not necessarily a mountain range.
Muster-goers will show their support for drought-affected farmers throughout the South Burnett, through the proportion of ticket and program sales, among other income sources, which will be donated to the Buy a Bale campaign.
The campaign, this year's official Muster charity, will deliver bales of donated hay to farmers for whom pasture is little more than a memory.
Muster general manager Jeff Chandler said the event had named the Buy A Bale campaign its major charity this year.
"I'd love to be sending the rain out there instead of a cheque," Gympie Cooloola Rotary Club member and Muster volunteer Wally Emmerson said, among the hay bales at Gympie Feed Barn yesterday.
But the donations will let people know they are not alone.
"We passed the hat around at a meeting and raised $500," club president Colin Stone said. "People from Murgon Rotary were there and they matched it - not a bad effort from people who are drought-affected themselves."
Buy a Bale co-ordinator Charles Alder said the Muster had often been a source of support for rural communities.
And just to make sure the goodwill message gets through, Muster people are bringing in buses with about 100 farmers who will have free admission to the Muster's big Saturday.
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