Golf for Telethon

Joondalup Times - - FRONT PAGE - Laura Pond

AS An­drew Macri pre­pares for a gru­elling two-day golf fundraiser, he knows his chal­lenge pales in com­par­i­son to those fac­ing many Perth chil­dren.

There will be no strolling be­tween holes for the Quinns Rocks res­i­dent dur­ing the Gol­fathon event on Oc­to­ber 9 and 10 at Wem­b­ley Golf Course, where he aims to play more than 215 holes over 24 hours to raise money for Telethon.

He has col­lected more than $80,000 for the char­ity since start­ing the event in 2010, in­spired by his daugh­ter Bella.

The then five-year-old suf­fered bleed­ing on the brain after hit­ting her head on a wa­ter­slide dur­ing a fam­ily trip to Bali seven years ago.

She was flown to Perth via CareF­light, with doc­tors from Joondalup Health Cam­pus on board, then spent two weeks at Princess Mar­garet Hos­pi­tal before re­cov­er­ing at home over the next six months while the bleed­ing sub­sided.

Mr Macri said the fam­ily re­ceived $100,000 worth of care, as well as sup­port from Ron­ald McDon­ald House and home school­ing for Bella via the hos­pi­tal.

“I needed to do some­thing to pay back that $100,000 so I in­vented the Gol­fathon,” he said.

“It just makes you feel like you’ve given some­thing back be­cause they’ve given us so much.”

Chef Josh Cata­lano met Mr Macri when he sup­ported him dur­ing a 24hour cy­cling chal­lenge for Telethon last year and will be his caddy for the event.

“He re­ally looked after me and I wanted to re­turn the favour,” he said.

The cause is also per­sonal for Mr Cata­lano, whose son Lenny was born last July at 24 weeks.

Lenny re­cently had his fi­nal checkup and is now “re­ally good” and a “nor­mal baby”.

“The peo­ple in­volved do an amazing job,” he said.

“Chil­dren are our fu­ture and we have to help them as best we can.”

He en­cour­aged oth­ers to get be­hind Mr Macri.

“When ev­ery­day peo­ple to do a chal­lenge like this, we have to sup­port them,” he said.

“It’s not an easy chal­lenge; he’s go­ing to go through some dark times.”

Mr Macri will be “ab­so­lutely stuffed” after the week­end, ex­pect­ing to walk more than 100km, and said it usu­ally took him sev­eral days to re­cover, but knew who to think of to keep him go­ing.

“Peo­ple like my daugh­ter, she’ll be there cheer­ing me on,” he said.

“And peo­ple like Josh, Lau­ren his wife and Lenny; Lenny’s a lit­tle trooper.

“When you fin­ish it is a big re­lief, but that’s when the pain starts.”

Peo­ple can visit the golf course over the two days to sup­port Mr Macri and do­nate in per­son or at

Pic­ture: Mar­tin Ken­nealey­mu­ni­ d473962

An­drew Macri and Josh Cata­lano pre­pare for the Gol­fathon.

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