Hats off to Shark
By GREG WHITE
SINCE beginning in 1994 the Elly Stig Memorial Golf Day and Auction has not only raised more than $200,000 for research into childhood cancer, it has become the premier annual sporting occasion on the Nambucca.
"Everybody in the district seems to contribute in some way and as word has spread, more and more of Australia's biggest sporting names have joined in," co-organiser Merle Tuckey said.
"We're now on first-name terms with a lot of them and they go to extraordinary lengths to help."
Like Greg Norman who's become the most generous of supporters.
"One of our helpers, John Forrester, has a brother building golf courses in Dubai and he organised some Norman memorabilia," she said.
"But Greg wanted to do something extra for the auction so he dug out a special black hat and arranged with a mate who is an airline captain to bring it back to Australia.
"Between them all, strings were pulled to fly it through Singapore, Melbourne and Sydney - then on to us for Sunday's event."
Karrie Webb's mum is a big supporter, as are the racing connections from the Ingham and Hawkes stable, Darren Beadman and the Freedman brothers.
"Ricky and Rianna Ponting are extremely generous with Ricky official ambassador of the Children's Cancer Institute," Tuckey said.
"Samantha Birmingham from the Institute is arriving on Sunday and will give a short address before the auction begins.
"Surfer Trent Munro will also attend as special guest."
Elly Stig was only 11-months-old when she passed away of leukaemia in July 1993, prompting grandfather Ray, an icon in local rugby league ranks, to begin a fundraising campaign.
The golf competition is a four person ambrose event with teams to register at the Nambucca Heads golf shop or clubhouse for a shotgun start.
Cost is $10 per person including lunch and non-golfers are welcome to participate in the luncheon at $5 per person or $20 families.
For general inquiries contact Ray Stig on (02) 6568 6701.
Merle Tuckey believes this years event could take the overall tally past the $250,000 mark.
"The bigger the 'name' of our supporters, the more generous they seem to become," she said.
"Along with raising funds we've formed many friendships."