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Celebri-Tee Golf Day, Dinner and Auction a huge success

Photos courtesy J2 Creative

Committee for Echuca Moama has helped raise thousands of dollars for Echuca Neighbourhood House at Wednesday's Celebri-Tee Golf Day, Dinner and Auction at Rich River Golf Club.

The day was warm but that didn’t stop golfers of varying talents chipping and putting their way around the golf course, with plenty of fun and banter the order of the day as they played with sporting celebrities, including Hawthorn greats Michael Tuck, Gary Buckenara and Paul Hudson.

The winning team on the day was Two Lads, who played with Paul Hudson.

Following the golf, Tataila Room hosted 170 for a dinner and auction, hosted by comedian Des Dowling, who had the crowd in stitches.

In its third year, the event was held to help raise funds for Echuca Neighbourhood House (ENH) to buy a bus for its Food Bank Program which helps support and deliver nutritious fresh food to those in need.

ENH manager Sarah Peake was thrilled money raised will go towards those in the community who need help to put food on the table.

‘I am overwhelmed by the generosity of the community,’ she said. ‘The funds raised will go towards our Food Bank bus which has reinforced just how important this program is in the community, particularly since the floods.

‘The last three years have been very difficult for many people in the community and knowing that we can help ease the worry of putting food on the table is so rewarding for everyone at the house. My volunteers do an amazing job and I’m so excited that the bus will help support their efforts.

‘I cannot possibly thank everyone enough for organising and supporting the night.’

The dinner included Hawthorn legend Gary Buckenara hosting a question-and-answer session with football greats Michael Tuck, Tony Jewel, Frank Marchesani and Paul Hudson.

Michael kept the crowd entertained with anecdotes on his unique hydration techniques, the toughest opponent he played against (Malcolm Blight), the best players he saw (Leigh Matthews, Gary Ablett Senior and Wayne Carey) (and himself, of course!) and the fact it would have been nice to have won a best and fairest at the club (he finished runner-up seven times and third twice in a career spanning 19 years, 426 games and seven premierships).

Former player and coach Tony Jewel gave his insights into coaching in the eighties (which including winning the 1980 premiership with Richmond) and how it has changed today. A highlight of his time at Richmond was coaching Kevin Bartlett (although he was so good, he really ‘didn’t need coaching’).

Frank Marchesani was brutally honest about his feelings for Robert Walls, and reminisced on winning the VFL Grand Final sprint in 1983 in front of 110,000.

Paul Hudson spoke about his father (another Hawthorn great Peter Hudson) and playing under some amazing coaches in Allan Jeans, Alan Joyce, Terry Wallace and Danny Frawley.

The night concluded with an auction of sporting memorabilia, which included an impromptu offer from Michael Tuck and Mark McClure to play host with two golfers at Rosebud which sold for an impressive $1550.

Echuca Lions Club also donated a whopping $5000 to the cause, while Moama RSL and Coolabah Turf also gave generous donations.

Rich River Golf Club marketing and events manager Deanne Armstrong thanked everyone for their generosity.

‘I would like to thank everybody who supported this year’s Celebri-tee Golf Day, Dinner and Auction,’ she said.

‘All money raised is going to such a worthwhile cause. Thank you to the celebrities who kindly gave up their time to come to Echuca Moama and support Echuca Neighbourhood House and all the people who played golf and enjoyed the night.’

Stay tuned for an update on the final amount raised. Corporate sponsors of the day will receive their business logo on the bus to thank them for their support. Businesses who gave their support included Shepparton BMW, Moama RSL, Coolabah Turf, Water Partners, Echuca Back 9 Golf Course, Echuca Mazda and Mitsubishi, Bendigo TAFE, CVGT Employment, Byford Equipment, BildGroup, Two Lads and the National Food Institute.

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