What. A. Weekend?! It was yet another great year for the Men of League. Their 10th Anniversary certainly went off with a bang!
Close to 120 people attended the Charity Dinner to be entertained and raise money for this amazing cause. The guest speakers on Saturday night were fantastic. Professionally hosted by Gerry Collins (ABC Radio) as MC, offering a race call for each introduction of the speakers, started the evening with Shaun Kenny-Dowall. Shaun spoke well about his move over the ditch and his NRL career, the Roosters and Newcastle Knights. Shontelle Stowers was interviewed next and what a guest to have! Shontelle's resume in sport blows you away... she has an incredibly impressive career internationally in both rugby union and rugby league. Shontelle and Gerry discussed women's sport, the rise of it and the struggle to get there all the while playing two different codes. Nathan Brown was introduced as the "Happiest Man on the Planet". The Knights having a win on Friday night making it 5 in a row certainly set the tone for the evening... leaving the crow of the Pro Shop Roosters a little subdued! Nathan spoke about the rise and pitfalls of life lessons in coaching and how he is nuturing the Knights along into the successful 2019 its shaping up to be for them.
Raffles and auction items were purchased and bidded for. Jay Shepperton from JTS Realty did an amazing job as auctioneer and with the support of the lads from Denman and Narrabri this raises a lot of money for this charity. Prizes saw anything from league and racing memorabilia to weekends away, golf in the Hunter Valley to corporate boxes at the footy. One in particular was in aid of "Casho's Walk" from Tamworth to Newcastle. John Cashman, a 75 year old man will start this trek on the 20th August leaving Tamworth to make it in time on the 31st August for the Old Boys round at MacDonald Jones Stadium. Another initiative to raise money for the Men of League. The rest of the night was live music, good times, war stories of yester-year and fun.
Golf on Sunday saw 175 players take to the course for a day of sunshine, fun and rivalry. A four person ambrose with longest drive, nearest the pin and betting holes to challenge the competitors. The day started with punters stretched and limbered early with registration being completed by 9.15am! It was a shotgun start on 27 holes with a sausage sizzle at the halfway house and on the 7th. The drinks cart angel, Gary Troon, visited each group wetting the whistle of players and taking photos. Players came off the course by 2.30pm for presentations, raffles and another auction. The Ross Gig Memorial Trophy is awarded to teams who ALL have AGU handicaps. This year it was taken out by the NBGC Board of Directors. There were prizes for men, women and mixed teams... even the wooden spooners got one!
Stephen Lowndes (Men of League, CEO) and Bruce Walker (Men of League, NSW Manager) attended the evening and stayed for the punishment of Nelson Bay Golf Course the next day. The Men of League is an amazing, hands on organisation who work tirelessly to raise money to help those men, women and children of the league community who are in need. A big focus for this charity is on mental health and well-being. For more information about what they do please go to www.menofleague.com.
The Port Stephens Men of League Branch would like to extend a very big, grateful thank you to all of their sponsors and to those who attended either or both of these events. These types of events can't happen without you.
We hope to see you all here for another great weekend this time next year. Save the date for the last weekend in May 2020!