The North Warrnambool Eagles Football Netball Club has thrown its support behind one of its junior players, diagnosed with a rare bone cancer, raising more than $28,500 for his family.
The club pledged in June to donate all monies raised through the annual Toyota Good For Footy raffle to young Fionn Ginley, 14, following his Ewing's Sarcoma diagnosis.
The amount raised saw North Warrnambool rank number one in the national fund-raising competition, where it remained on top for the last six weeks of the season. Second-placed club North Heidelberg come close behind, raising more than $27,800 at the competition's end.
The raffle, which included a prize pool of three new cars, AFL coaching and merchandise, was drawn on September 10 but Eagles junior co-ordinator Sean Kenny said, despite everyone's best efforts, it failed to produce a local winner.
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Kenny said it was great that the North Warrnambool Eagles had banded together to help the under 16s player and his family, who were highly regarded in the club and wider community.
Kenny said it was a really good result and it was great to see everyone get behind them.
"We had about five or six grand within a day and then it just exploded which was great," Kenny said.
"In a junior football club, it's pretty close to home. Everyone's got kids the same age. It's pretty random.
"People want to do something and there's not much you can do.
"I think something like this really hit a chord and enabled people to say 'we're thinking of you and we care and here's a way we can help'.
Kenny said the money would be given to the Ginley family in coming weeks.
Mum Daphne Ginley said the family was grateful for the south-west support they'd received while in Melbourne at the Royal Children's Hospital and since they'd returned home to Warrnambool.
"Fionn's going well," Mrs Ginley said. "He's having surgery on his hip at the end of the month.
"We want to say a very big thank you to the club and the whole Warrnambool community, and everyone who supported it and bought tickets, because they've been amazing," Mrs Ginley said.
"It's amazing, and to get to number one in Australia (on the fund-raising tally). It's pretty incredible really," she said.
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