Clubs back cancer cause
TWO Ovens and Murray football clubs have wrapped their arms around a muchloved local family in raising $15,000 through The Project host Carrie Bickmore’s Beanies 4 Brain Cancer Foundation.
Players, officials and supporters from Wangaratta Rovers and Myrtleford football clubs will don the charity’s beanies when the clubs meet at the WJ Findlay Oval on July 14, the day before what would have been Lina O’Donohue’s 50th birthday.
Lina, who lost her battle with brain cancer in December, was originally from Myrtleford, and became a popular figure at the Rovers while supporting her husband, former player and coach John, and watching their children, Kara and Josh, grow up around the club.
Organiser, Corina Falconer said The ‘sea of beanies’ concept originated among Kara’s under 16 Rovers netball team, but quickly gained interest among the club’s other teams.
“Then we decided we would make a day of it and include Myrtleford, because Lina came from Myrtleford,” Corina said.
Lina’s sister, Danni CLOSE CONNECTION: (Back from left) Ryley Bouker, Nella Muraca, Danni Bouker, Denise O’Donohue, Josh Muraca, (front) Brody Bouker, Alex Muraca and Sam Muraca with some of the beanies that will be worn in memory of former local Lina O’Donohue. PHOTO: Tate Spiteri Bouker said the support shown from Myrtleford had been amazing.
“I thought I would ask if any Myrtleford people might be interested with the hope of maybe selling 20 and within a day and a half we had about 200,” she said.
“It wasn’t hard, everyone just really wanted to help out, Nella (Muraca) and Denise (O’Donohue) especially.”
A total of $9,375 was raised by Wangaratta Rovers and $5,760 in Myrtleford.
John O’Donohue said his family had been touched by the support shown by the two clubs, and the wider community, through the fundraiser.
“It’s a great show of respect for Lina in the first instance, for the person she was and what she had to endure,” he said.
“She was a mother, wife, daughter, sister and friend, and her loss affected a lot of people.
“It’s testament, too, to the value of footy clubs - Rovers in particular, and Myrtleford Football Club and junior football club - that whole feeling of being part of something, in a place where you feel comfortable, is so important.
“It’s also a chance to raise awareness of brain cancer, which is fairly misunderstood and not even really that well known.
“It’s the biggest killer of kids, and adults under 40, and these campaigns do a great job of bringing it to the fore.” By SIMONE KERWIN