Independent and FREE - 2021 Best Online Publication

IN PHOTOS: sporting who’s who support fundraiser

Independent and FREE – 2021 Best Online Publication (Qld Country Press)

IN PHOTOS: sporting who’s who support fundraiser

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IN PHOTOS: sports legends and business champions turn out for hospital fundraiser

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Sports legends and generous community members have rallied to a lunch by the lake for a good cause.

A sold-out function, for 180 people, was held at Mountain Creek on April 22, to raise funds for the Spinal Injuries Unit at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane.

Local hotelier Scott Armstrong, owner of Sunshine Coast Hotels Group, offered The Lakehouse Sunshine Coast, next to Brightwater Hotel, as a venue for the event.

Major Queensland sports clubs, including the Brisbane Broncos, Brisbane Lions, Queensland Reds and Queensland Racing Club, along with other businesses, donated items for auction.

John Connolly in hospital in his first few weeks of care.


Wallabies great John Eales was the MC, while the speakers’ roster included legendary rugby league coach Wayne Bennett, renowned author and ex-Wallabies player Peter FitzSimons, Australian para canoeist and former sapper Curtis McGrath, former Wallabies coach and ex-Sunshine Coast councillor John Connolly, along with John’s son James, who has served overseas with the Australian Army. Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson also attended.

Mr Connolly, who spent nine months in the hospital after a serious fall, helped organise the lunch, which raised more than $75,000, and he said he was “overwhelmed by the support” for it.

The tickets were gone within 90 minutes of word spreading. “We could have sold 400 tickets,” he said.

He said the lunch offered  “insight and a few laughs”, but more importantly helped provide much-needed equipment for the hospital.

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Former Queensland rugby league player Billy Moore and local hotelier Scott Armstrong.

Brad Thompson and Nathan Koina were among those at the special function.


Para canoeist Curtis McGrath and James Connolly.

Scott Armstrong and Tim Ryan.

Auctioneer Dan Sowden from Ray White.

John Miller and Brad Butcher.

James and Sonya Connolly.

Author and ex-Wallabies player Peter FitzSimons.