19 June 2023

Ladies lunch and beanies battle the winter chill as the Wagga Kangaroos raise money to fight brain cancer

| Glenn Pallister
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two ladies

Hannah and Kate Hurst were working hard selling beanies at the Wagga Kangaroos Ladies Lunch, but there was time for a well-deserved drink. Photo: Glenn Pallister.

The ladies took the lead at McDonalds Park on Sunday (18 June) for the Wagga Kangaroos Senior Rugby League Club’s annual Ladies Long Lunch.

It was a wonderful day of festivities and fundraising, honouring and acknowledging the hardworking and supportive women of the club, and just a good excuse to get together and have some fun.

Organised by Deb Hurst, wife of club president Peter Hurst, the day featured a sit-down lunch, a few drinks, and the chance to buy some beanies and support the Mark Hughes Foundation.

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The Wagga Kangaroos have embraced the concept for the second year now, with players running onto the field in MHF beanies, and the crowd doing their part buying and wearing the much-loved (and much-needed) winter fashion accessory.

“Wagga Kangaroos Ladies Day is a long-standing tradition that takes the opportunity to thank the lovely ladies within our club who work so hard to make the club the institution it is today,” club president Peter Hurst said.

“Over recent years it has been synonymous with fundraising for a fantastic cause – the Mark Hughes Foundation initiative Beanies for Brain Cancer, which is always well supported by the club.

“Brain cancer has affected so many and especially within our club, so supporting the Mark Hughes Foundation is a no-brainer (no pun intended) as their work in research, awareness and support is very much needed and we ask everyone to get on board and support this great cause.”


Britt Fitzsimmons at the Wagga Kangaroos Ladies Lunch. Photo: Glenn Pallister.

Regular readers know I (Glenn Pallister) was instrumental in the formation of the Beanie for Brain Cancer round in tandem with my great mate Matt Callander from Channel 9, who was diagnosed with Grade 4 brain cancer in 2016 and passed away in 2017.

He had called me with his dream to see players in the NRL walk onto the field wearing beanies, and for people to be able to buy those beanies and raise money for brain cancer research.

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Together, a group of us worked to make the dream come true and the NRL Beanie for Brain Cancer round is a fixture every year and supports The Mark Hughes Foundation.

With the Wagga Kangaroos, it’s always a family affair and the Hursts and their daughters Kate and Hannah were working the crowd selling beanies and bringing the total raised in the last two years to well over $5000.

Ladies day

Kate Hurst sells beanies to the crowd on a cold Sunday at McDonalds Park. Photo: Glenn Pallister.

I sent Mark Hughes a video of the entire Roos first grade side running onto the field wearing the beanies, and to tell him of the day’s result and he was quick to reply: “That’s amazing mate, still in there fighting for us, Matt (Callander) would be so proud. Thank you.”

The Kangaroos will again wear them onto the field when the entire Group 9 competition comes together and celebrates Beanie for Brain Cancer round on 1-2 July. Let’s see if all the other clubs in the region can match the Kangaroos and help find a cure for this horrible disease.

And thank you to all the people who bought a beanie on Sunday, and particularly to all the wonderful women there to celebrate another hugely successful Ladies’ Day.

Get into your local IGA and buy a beanie for $25 or go to a Group 9 game the weekend after next and see if your club is selling them – you will be making a difference!

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