Gru­elling Gol­fathon is no stroll in the park

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Books -

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 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, 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 24-hour cy­cling chal­lenge for Telethon last year, and will be his caddy for the event. He en­cour­aged oth­ers to get be­hind Mr Macri. Mr Macri will be “ab­so­lutely stuffed” af­ter the week­end, ex­pect­ing to walk more than 100km. Peo­ple can visit the course over the two days to sup­port Mr Macri and do­nate in per­son or at

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