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By BRIDGET SCOTT

WHILE the lives of two young women have changed forever, their friends and family have rallied together in an attempt to make a tragic time slightly easier.
On 7 April this year, Berwick residents Emma Booth and Courtney Fraser were involved in a horrific car accident while travelling back from the Albury Horse Trials in New South Wales. Both women were injured in the car accident, which also took the life of both of Courtney’s horses and destroyed all of her belongings.
Courtney’s horses, Entertainment Plus and Perfect Match, had both experienced great success in the horse trials.
The driver of another vehicle involved in the accident was also killed.
Twenty-two-year-old Emma Booth suffered irreversible injuries from the crash, which have resulted in her being a paraplegic.
Courtney also sustained several injuries from the accident including a fractured knee cap, fractured ribs and sternum as well as other minor injuries.
In the wake of the incident, the equestrian and wider community rallied together in a bid to help the two women.
Cockatoo resident Cathy Oates is leading the group, including Will Enzinger and Sarah Bertram, which has organised a fundraising event to support the girls.
Ms Oates said she, as well as others, were aware the pair would need all the help they could get.
“We knew that Courtney had lost her horses, and, basically, lost everything,” she said.
“She would need a lot of help to get her life back on track.”
Ms Oates also said that she hopes the extra money will help Emma’s family to cover her medical bills.
“We wanted to raise money for Emma’s family to help with the additional costs they are incurring,” she said.
“They have to fund other bills that TAC doesn’t cover.”
Importantly, the friend of the girls said it will “give them something to look forward to”.
A fundraiser has been organised for 26 July at the Palladium room in Crown which will kick off at 7pm.
Ms Oates said the huge amount of interest in supporting the girls meant the group had to seek out a room which could hold large numbers.
“We’ve already sold around 400 tickets,” she said.
They are hoping to get about 1000 people attend the event.
Auctions and raffles will run throughout the night, with a horse float going up for bids.
Other items up for sale, both horse related and non-horse related, includes riding equipment, clothes vouchers and hampers.
A live band will also play to provide extra entertainment throughout the night.
Tickets are selling for $155 each – included in the price is a three course meal, as well as drinks.
Ms Oates is hoping both girls will be able to attend the event, however with Emma still in hospital she is aware it may not be possible.
Ms Oates hopes many people will come to support the girls in their road to recovery.
“I hope people support us because that’s what’s really going to help support the girls,” Ms Oates said.

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