Rivals come together to fight MND
The giving spirit of regional WA was evident in one of Australia’s most high-profile medical fundraisers.
AFL great Neale Daniher’s fight for life has become central to the bid to find a cure for motor neurone disease and two country sports communities have combined to raise $105,000 in the past two years for the cause.
The Lake Grace-Pingrup Winter Sports Club and the Boxwood Hill Football Club have been on-field rivals for more than 20 years but were united against MND after they lost two stalwarts to the disease Daniher calls “the Beast”.
The communities, with a combined 1400 residents, acted after the deaths of residents Rick Swarbrick and Steve King. “We’ve formed a brother-sister relationship over the years,” Lake GracePingrup president John O’Neill said of the two clubs.
“They were the sort of people you just treasure and they’re hard to replace.”
Daniher was the inspiration behind the Big Freeze at the G at the MCG on Monday, when participants slid into a freezing cold ice pit to raise funds for the cause.
The annual event has helped raise $30 million for MND research.
The Lake Grace-Pingrup and Boxwood Hill clubs have raised more than $100,000 in the past two years as part of the MND Big Freeze. Pictured from left are Eva and Luke Bairstow, Yasmine Featherstone, John O’Neill, Royce Taylor, Joely Slinn, Abby Bairstow, Brendan Desmond and Jemma Bairstow.