Sporting Hope Association to host charity bowls day at Nelson Bay Bowling Club on Australia Day

BOWLS DAY: Sporting Hope committee members (from left): Brian Judd, Mary Kelly, Richard Graystone, Alan Barnes, Julie Burns and Jim Hall at Nelson Bay Bowling Club.
BOWLS DAY: Sporting Hope committee members (from left): Brian Judd, Mary Kelly, Richard Graystone, Alan Barnes, Julie Burns and Jim Hall at Nelson Bay Bowling Club.

The Port Stephens-based Sporting Hope Association will host a charity bowls day at Nelson Bay Bowling Club on January 26 (Australia Day), starting at 10am.

The fundraiser would include teams of fours in men's, ladies and mixed, open to bowlers and non-bowlers. Lunch would be provided on the day and prizes would be available for overall winners and lucky team draws.

There are some fantastic prizes to be won, including best dressed male and female in their Aussie gear.

Organiser Jim Hall said that proceeds of the charity day will go towards a more suitable vehicle for the Chessum-Harris family of Salamander Bay.

The family - mum Tanya, dad Ben and three other children - moved to Port Stephens from Tasmania about four years ago to obtain better medical care for their daughter, Madison, who suffers from the rare condition West Syndrome.

"Now aged 11, Madison has severe developmental delays ... she cannot talk, walk, eat or drink and is fed through a mic-key button," Mr Hall said.

At age five months Madison was taken to Launceston Hospital by her parents after all of a sudden she had stopped responding to signals.

"She was diagnosed with colic originally, but persistence by her parents saw further tests being undertaken and Madison was eventually diagnosed with West, which is a severe form of epilepsy."

The Chessum-Harris family eventually sold their home in Tasmania and moved to Salamander Bay to be closer to medical support at the John Hunter Hospital.

Mr Hall said that the family vehicle was no longer suitable for the growing family's needs. "We are conducting the charity bowls day to help raise the $30,000 needed to purchase a new vehicle for the family."

Sporting Hope was established in 2014 in an effort to amalgamate sporting bodies within the Port Stephens and Hunter region to raise funds and support the general community support groups. The group is made up of volunteer members from Port Stephens.

Some of the people the association has supported in recent times include Miro Milanja, who was diagnosed with multiple myeloma (a cancer that develops in the plasma cells) to enable the family to overcome the initial loss of income and medical expenses; Riley Coburn-Hall, who suffered a serious rugby league accident while playing in an under 14's game for his Mallabula team, who dissected a coronary artery when tackled which resulted in a blood clot and subsequent stroke. Kerry Grover, from Anna Bay, was left paralysed after a freak accident; and Alicia Marcus who lost her husband to motor neuron disease.

Entry fee is $80 per team and for entry forms interested people can contact Richard Girvan at the Nelson Bay Bowling Club on 4981 1272.

SPORT NEWS