The annual Act to D-Feet MND Day raised over $38 000 for MND research in memory of Benalla's Mick Rodger.By Monique Freer
Benalla’s annual Act to D-Feet MND Day was a roaring success, with records broken and almost $40
Organiser Robyn Smith said the day was incredibly well-run, which added to the success of the event.
‘‘It was easy, and from our perspective it’s just so nice to be able to run that smoothly and not be too stressful,’’ Ms Smith said.
While the final figures are yet to be confirmed, the event had just over 800 participants and raised about $38
The event began early with an 89
Joining the Benalla locals were friends and supporters from Cobram, Melbourne and beyond, and together they walked around Lake Benalla in memory of Mick Rodger and in support of MND research.
‘‘It’s just an emotional time to see people continue to support the event,’’ Ms Smith said.
‘‘I think Benalla’s really embraced it as something that they feel they’re making a difference in, and that’s really positive.
‘‘You can’t help but be lifted.’’
The hotly-contested teams relay was next to kick off, as the walkers enjoyed the sunshine and live entertainment. For the fifth consecutive year, Benalla Saints was the first men’s team to finish, while Benalla Saints Netball was the first female team over the line.
Benalla Swim Club also saw success as the first community team to finish the relay.
As temperatures soared, so too did the excitement for the final event of the day: the King and Queen of the Lake races.
Defending champion Luke Baker retained his title, smashing the record and finishing the 4.2
Ms Smith said the event had helped her and her family get through the loss of a husband and father.
‘‘It was pretty dark times, there’s no treatment and obviously no cure, you know what’s in front of you,’’ Ms Smith said.
‘‘It’s quite difficult to find positives out of that, and when you go to Benalla Lake and just see so many people streaming over in white T-shirts, it’s quite powerful.
‘‘It gives you a boost, you feel like you’re not on your own.’’
With a fundraising ball in Mr Rodger’s name still to be held in June, Ms Smith expects that by the end of 2013 there will have been about $500
The Mick Rodger Benalla MND Research Grant is funding current research projects, which Ms Smith said was a wonderful achievement.
‘‘For those sufferers now, this is probably not going to help them, but it will help the future sufferers and it just lifts you up and you feel great.’’
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