Residents from all walks of life dumped buckets of ice water over their heads last week to raise money for motor neurone disease research.MONIQUE FREER September 3, 2014 3:30am
Mick Rodger Act 2 D-Feet MND committee member Robyn Smith was one of about 50 Benalla residents who participated in the ice bucket challenge last Tuesday.
An international fundraising phenomenon has well and truly made a splash in Benalla.
On Tuesday last week more than 50 people gathered at the Lake Benalla foreshore to participate in the ALS ice-bucket challenge, in support of those who suffer from motor neurone disease.
The ALS challenge began in the United States last month and involved participants pouring a bucket of iced water over their heads to raise money and awareness for amyotrophic lateral disease.
ALS is not a term frequently used in Australia. Instead it is more commonly known as motor neurone disease, the same disease that claimed the life of Benalla resident Mick Rodger in March 2010.
His widow Robyn Smith, daughter Martine Rodger, FCJ College Benalla students, members of the Mick Rodger Act 2 D-Feet MND committee and Benalla Saints Sports Club personnel joined forces to dump the icy lake water on their heads last week.
‘‘We’ve tried all sorts of things to get it on the radar and this has been some ingenious idea that’s raised the profile and people are talking about it,’’ Ms Smith said.
‘‘I’ve never heard so many people talking about motor neurone disease before.’’
Since 2008 Mr Rodger’s family and friends have rallied to create a legacy in his memory and raise valuable funds for MND research.
‘‘In Benalla we’ve raised over $600
‘‘They’ve made some significant findings, so we can now build on those findings and we’re more than likely to be able to find a cure. They say they’re not too far away but it’s that consistent funding that we need to be able to keep it going.’’
The effort of the Benalla community was not just in memory of Mick Rodger but in support of locals Marj Symes and Peter Bennett, who are suffering from MND.
Mr Bennett and his family completed the ice-bucket challenge on Saturday after Benalla’s home-ground clash with Seymour, surrounded by players, club personnel and supporters.
‘‘That’s the power of community in a small community, it’s just being surrounded,’’ Ms Smith said.
‘‘One of the things we found was that it was much easier to deal with because we were supported by community and you didn’t feel on your own.
‘‘We’ve been able to pass that message on to our children about the legacy of community. It is worth helping the community and it is worth supporting people.’’
Mr Bennett was also at the ice-bucket challenge last Tuesday and said he was uplifted by the display of support.
‘‘It’s fantastic, you’ve got friends, associates and people you may not know, all doing it,’’ Mr Bennett said.
On Thursday Mick Rodger Act 2 D-Feet MND committee member and Liberal candidate for Euroa Tony Schneider delighted a group of kindergarten students by participating in the challenge, for a cause he said was close to his heart.
More than $2000 was raised in Benalla from donations last week.
Shepparton’s Declo Bisimwa firmly believes education is the key to a better life.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
Garners Boxing Gym in Echuca is encouraging young people to get active with weekly boxing/cardio classes.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
Tomorrow is a Total Fire Ban day in Deniliquin, meaning no fires can be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
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