Rugby Player Raises $40,000 For Mental Health Charity
A rugby player on the NSW Mid North Coast has used his competitive skills for a good cause, raising $40,000 to donate to a mental health and suicide prevention charity group.
South West Rocks Marlins player Tony Duncan set up his fundraising campaign – Duncs Dollars for Depression – in April 2015 with a Facebook page to help rally support in the local and wider community.
He says he’s used this rugby season as an opportunity to raise money for mental health charity Livin, with more than 60 individuals and businesses in the community contributing to his fundraising campaign.
“Throughout the year I accumulated one dollar for every hit-up and tackle I made during the season with the Marlins,” he explains in an interview with the Macleay Argus newspaper.
“Dunc’s Dollars for Depression raised $15,000 and the charity auction and donations from the community raised another $25,000 which was fantastic and completely unexpected.”
Duncan was inspired to raise awareness of mental health issues after seeing the impact it’s had on family members and friends.
“For me, mental illness and suicide is such a painfully sad topic,” he said in an interview earlier in 2015.
“I’ve lost three cousins and a mate to suicide so I’ve experienced first hand what it can do. With suicide, there are thousands of questions but no answers. There have been a number of high profile suicides in the past year that have had a profound effect on society. We need to break down the stigma attached to mental illness encourage those who need help to go out and seek it.”
In response to Duncan’s $40,000 contribution, Livin put out a statement on its Facebook page saying he is “an inspiration and an asset to your community the amount of work you put in has blown us away.”
Duncan says he’s currently in talks with Livin about becoming an ambassador to represent the Mid North Coast Region, and will continue his efforts either way.
“I’ll continue to raise awareness about mental health, suicide and depression within the community but for now I would just like to thank everyone involved and everyone that contributed to the cause,” he says.