Thomas makes it happen even if Tony can’t

In a good cause… lining up for Thomas Campagna’s fundraiser include, from left, former Brumbies/Wallabies player Owen Finegan, personal trainer Lee Campbell, Opposition Leader Jeremy Hanson, MLA Andrew Wall, Canberra Braves captain Mark Rummukainen, with students Tom Gazzard and Thomas Campagna. Photo by Gary Schafer

In a good cause… lining up for Thomas Campagna’s fundraiser include, from left, former Brumbies/Wallabies player Owen Finegan, personal trainer Lee Campbell, Opposition Leader Jeremy Hanson, MLA Andrew Wall, Canberra Braves captain Mark Rummukainen, with students Tom Gazzard and Thomas Campagna. Photo by Gary Schafer

TONY Abbott can’t make it for Thomas Campagna’s celebrity touch football game, but other local pollies, sports stars and businesses have accepted the 10-year-old boy’s challenge.

Thomas gamely wrote to the PM to see if he’d play in the charity game he’s organising, and while Mr Abbott wrote back saying he was too busy running the country to participate, he praised Thomas’ fundraising efforts.

Thomas has already raised more than $1300 for anti-human trafficking charity Project Futures and the Australian charities it works with – the Salvation Army Safe House and Child Wise. He’s been busy selling personalised Christmas stockings that his nanna makes, and asking for donations instead of birthday presents on his fundraising page.

Thomas Campagna. Photo by Gary Schafer

Thomas Campagna. Photo by Gary Schafer

“I realised that I have it pretty good here and I wanted to help people who don’t,” Thomas says.

The game will be on Sunday, November 9, at Greenway enclosed oval, Tuggeranong, from 2pm.

Celebs who’ve signed up include former Brumbies and Wallabies player Owen Finegan, Canberra Braves captain Mark Rummukainen, MLAs Jeremy Hanson and Andrew Wall, radio and TV veteran Greg “Robbo” Robson, local rugby league player Salesi Tuli and Lee Campbell, personal trainer to the stars.

There are also local business volunteers, including Tony Hercok (COO) and Justin Dowd (partner) from Watts McCray Lawyers, real estate agent Richard Keeley from Lutons, CEO of Menslink ACT, Martin Fisk, and Thomas’ teachers at Canberra Grammar School, Craig McMahon (master in charge of junior rugby), and Jason Reilly (master in charge of senior rugby).

Thomas has made it all happen – with a bit of help from mum and dad behind the scenes, says his mum Alanna Davis.

“I did a bike ride for Project Futures in Cambodia in February, and I was deeply affected by the state of the country,” she says. “When I came back I told Thomas all about human trafficking, and he said he wanted to do something to help, too.”

Thomas says he has set himself a goal of raising $5000 in 12 months.

“My mum said I would have to do something special to raise that much, so I decided to organise a game of touch football,” he says.

“I play rugby at school, but touch footy is less physical so I thought it was a good idea.

“I’m really looking forward to the game. Me and my friend Tom are going to be the ball boys.”

Alanna says Thomas knew the sportspeople he wanted to approach, including his former coach Owen Finegan, but she helped a little with the others.

“We gave him a list of who he might like to ask, but he wrote all the letters himself,” she says.

Thomas has been nominated for a Rookie Stella Fella 2014 Award, which is issued each year by Project Futures in recognition of their top supporters.

“We have just found out that Thomas is a finalist in the top three – I couldn’t be more proud,” says Alanna.

For tickets to the game, visit celebritysport.org/buy-tickets. Prices range from $10 (Bronze) to $100 (VIP). There are only 50 VIP tickets, which include a goodie bag and entrance to the “Celebrity Meet & Greet” before the game. Gates open at 2pm.

 

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One Response to “Thomas makes it happen even if Tony can’t”

  1. luke
    August 6, 2014 at 11:51 am #

    *Canberra Brave – not Braves.

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