Nhill, Dimboola fight MND day raises thousands

COMMUNITY generosity was on show at Davis Park in Nhill on Saturday as a fundraising effort and motor neurone disease awareness campaign culminated in a big day.

Nhill Sporting Club president Brett Wheaton said it was a fabulous day.

“The gate was well and truly up so we had a massive crowd in,” he said.

“There were a lot of people there that weren’t connected to either club so community interest was certainly high.”

During the day more than $7000 worth of merchandise was sold at the ground.

“Both clubs had people in a merchandise tent selling throughout the day,” Wheaton said.

“It was a sea of beanies on the ground after the senior game for the ice dunk challenge.”

More than $16,000 had been raised in sponsorship as 14 participants prepared to be dunked. The fundraising tally had risen to more than $17,000 by Sunday afternoon.

Further money was raised through the sale of the special jumpers worn by each club’s senior football side.

The 21 Nhill jumpers went for a combined total of about $15,000.

“One jumper went for more than $1000,” Wheaton said.

“I know I was bidding for my son’s jumper and it got all the way up to $625. I don’t think any of them went for much less than $400.”

The Davis Park clubrooms remained packed for a question and answer session with former AFL players Glen Manton and Jason Johnson.

“We did 160 meals on the night and ran out,” Wheaton said. “Normally that number would be about 100, 120 on a good night.”

Raffle tins were also making the rounds during the day to collect money.

Wheaton said they were already full by 10am.

“There was more than $2000 in there when we emptied them out,” he said.

“It’s hard to work out just how much we raised because there were some costs involved and we had to stop counting the money because we were simply too tired.”

Wheaton thanked David Flood for being a driving force behind the day.

“He provided the connection between the city and the country to help it make that little big bigger,” he said.

“It was a fantastic atmosphere all day and it was all about collectively doing our bit for the cause. It showcased the generosity of the people in our communities and the wider Wimmera.

“Sport is the social fabric of so many towns. We have the ability to do so much and that was evident over the weekend.”

The club is hopeful it can continue to host fundraising effort again each season.

“We have already approached the league about possibly doing something more with it,” Wheaton said.

“As a club we are thankful to be a part of something like this.”

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