Sport community digs deep for kids

The on-field action in the clash between Glen Innes-Guyra and the Barbarians took a back seat on Saturday as rugby enthusiasts dug deep for a cause close to home.

Local children Tommy Gill and Josie Grob were diagnosed with lymphoblastic leukaemia earlier this year within two weeks of each other. 

They will undergo another seven months of intensive treatment in Newcastle but will still have fortnightly visits for years after. 

Leonie Pettit organised a fundraiser at the rugby union clash on Saturday and said the local community got behind the cause.

“They have been both having a bit of a rough trot having bad side effects from the treatments,” she said. 

“Tommy spent a lot of last week in intensive care, he's out now, and Josie's not well either, she spent most of her time in hospital whereas sometimes they can go to the Ronald McDonald house, which is where their mums are staying and the other kids. 

“We just thought we would try to help them out a little bit financially and we ended up raising $3200 so they got about $1600 each and that has been transferred straight into their accounts now.” 

Two dollars from every entry through the gate was donated to the cause. 

Six hundred tickets were available in the mega raffle and completely sold out. 

Local businesses lent a hand toward the fundraising efforts by donating items for auction. A boot sat atop the bar and $400 was put into it. 

“It was a cold day and there wasn't a massive crowd but everyone who came dug deep,” Pettit said. 

“It was really good to see, it was wonderful.” 

Tommy and Josie still have years to go in their recovery journey and the club hope to continue raising funds for them in the future.

In the meantime, Pettit encouraged Glen Innes locals to get behind events coming up. 

“I know there's a lot of other community organisations doing a lot of fundraisers,” she said. 

“If this an ongoing thing we might be able to do something again next year to help them out. In the last two years we have had one of our home games as a charity day so we have been able to raise money for locals, last year we raised money for little Logan and we raised a fair bit for him but we topped it this year.”

GIVE CANCER THE BOOT: Jeremy Hallam gets a kick away in the GhostStags match against the Barbarians. The local club hosted a fundraiser for local kids, Tommy Gill and Josie Grob, suffering lymphoblastic leukaemia. Photo: Tony Grant

GIVE CANCER THE BOOT: Jeremy Hallam gets a kick away in the GhostStags match against the Barbarians. The local club hosted a fundraiser for local kids, Tommy Gill and Josie Grob, suffering lymphoblastic leukaemia. Photo: Tony Grant

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