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The Knights, in conjunction with major supporter NIB and the Anthony McCrohon Committee, have today presented Anthony McCrohon with a cheque for $118,000, representing the fundraising efforts of the committee during 2003.
The Anthony McCrohon committee, headed by ex-Knights skipper Paul Harragon and supported by the Knights Football Club was formed to raise funds for Anthony, who as an outstanding young junior, was struck down with serious injury in 1996 whilst trialing for the club.
The committee set themselves the aim of securing enough funds to build Anthony a wheelchair-compliant home in his home district of Kurri. They managed to raise in excess of $100,000 during a seven-day period in June this year. The week-long campaign included a highly successful Telethon on Channel Nine?s The Footy Show and finished at the Knights ? Parramatta clash at Energy Australia Stadium in round 16.
Since then, the committee has received support from a number of organisations including HGT Australia, Stramit, Daracon Engineering and Housing Group Australia who have all committed to assisting the building of a new home for Anthony.
The club is still seeking land in the Kurri or Maitland areas, however, to make Anthony?s dream a reality.
Speaking today, NIB Executive Manager Marketing and Sales, Christine Morris, said the efforts of the community could not be praised enough.
??NIB was incredibly pleased to be the major supporter of such a special event and the result is truly reflective of the community spirit that is integral to this Region,? she said.
?We are extremely proud of everybody?s efforts throughout this Appeal and hope that NIB?s support can significantly improve Anthony?s quality of life.?
Knights CEO, Ken Conway agreed that the effort was a very pleasing one.
?When this committee first sat down, we set ourselves the goal of raising $50,000. The fact that that target has been significantly surpassed is a tribute to everyone who contributed their time and effort,? he said.
?While Anthony?s story is certainly a sad one, it is very pleasing to see the greater community join together in such a good cause.?
Knights player, Mark Hughes, who shares the hometown of Kurri Kurri with Anthony, said he was hopeful that the Knights could contribute more towards Anthony?s ultimate goal of owning his own wheelchair compliant home.
?It is really fantastic that this committee has been able to raise the amount it has in such a short space of time,? he said.
?What would really cap it off, however, is if we could secure some land in the Kurri Kurri district for the project.?
?I?ve got to know Anthony pretty well during the last 12 months or so and I know that he is very keen to gain some real independence, particularly before his health deteriorates further.?
?With the support we have received from builders willing to donate their time and money, I think we are in a position to build a home for Anthony for a very modest price.?
?If we could secure land at a discounted price from a benevolent land-owner, I know the Knights would willingly throw their marketing and promotional muscle behind that person or organisation.?
?I would certainly urge anyone who is able to contribute to the cause to contact Stephen Crowe at the Knights office.?
Also speaking today, Anthony McCrohon said he was overwhelmed by the response from everyone involved.
?Life has been pretty tough for me over the last few years, but this last 6 months or so have been beyond my expectations,? he said.
?I can?t thank enough, all the people involved in the project from the volunteers to the Knights and to supporters such as NIB.?