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Moama golf ball drop raises more than $30,000

More than $30,000 was raised for the James McQuillan Future Fund through a nearest the pin competition at Moama Recreation Reserve on Saturday.

GEORDIE COWAN July 22, 2014 3:28am

Crowds watch the golf ball drop.


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Spectators at Saturday’s Moama v Echuca United football match had an unusual sight as the James McQuillan Future Fund held a fundraiser at half-time of the senior match.

More than 1600 numbered golf balls were dropped from a helicopter hovering over the grandstand wing aiming to be nearest to the pin which was planted in the ground.

The event raised more than $30,000 for the fund.

James’ brother Tom said it was an ‘‘absolutely fantastic’’ day.

‘‘The level of support from the local community and the JMFF committee in Echuca has been absolutely fantastic and to see so many people here today is really great,’’ he said.

‘‘It (the support) has been overwhelming.

‘‘This is such a big and important fundraiser for my brother and my family.

‘‘It’s thanks to the support of everyone here and the willingness of people to give their time and money to the cause, our family has had to do very little.

‘‘Which has meant that we can focus on being there for James and that’s the most important thing.’’

Since his appearance on The Footy Show recently, James has been doing quite well in physio, Tom said.

‘‘This week he’s able to transfer himself from his wheelchair to his bed with supervision,’’ he said.

‘‘It seems like a fairly small step in the grand scheme of things, but it’s a fairly big step in terms of his independence and it’s quite a milestone.

‘‘He’s getting around in his manual wheelchair all the time now.

‘‘Every time I see him he’s a bit more efficient and he’s able to push himself around a bit faster.

‘‘When he started out he was really struggling with it...whereas now he’s coasting 10 or 20m in front of you and wondering why you aren’t running faster.

‘‘He’s progressing really well and we’re hoping more good news will follow more good news.’’

James hopes to come home by Christmas.

‘‘The timeframe on that is a bit flexible because a lot can happen in a few months in terms of his rehab and his physio,’’ Tom said.

‘‘Our farmhouse is being measured up for renovations because a lot of things will have to change there...all sorts of things to make it more accessible for James.’’

One of his short-term goals is part of the next big fundraiser, Miles for McQuillan, where James hopes to push himself 10km at the Melbourne Marathon in October, Tom said.

‘‘I’m very confident he will get there very comfortably in the end,’’ he said.

‘‘Friends, supporters and allies are going to be running 10km, the half-marathon or the full marathon.

‘‘That’s what he’s really looking forward to.’’

Paul Eade won the first prize of $5000.

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