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Wandong socks it to MND

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Emily Waite
Emily Waite
Emily Waite has been the Editor of the North Central Review since late April, 2024. With a particular focus on delivering community driven stories, Emily has been responsible for implementing the new 'Words of wisdom' segment, and regularly reaches out to residents both young and old to share their stories with the paper. Emily graduated with high distinctions in a Bachelor of Music from JMC Academy in 2022, and graduated with a Graduate Diploma in Writing and Literature from Deakin University in 2023.

Earlier last month, the Wandong Junior Football Club held a Big Freeze fundraiser in support of Fight MND’s Big Freeze 10, aimed at raising funds and awareness in the fight against motor neurone disease (MND).

The event attracted over 30 sponsors of the Club, along with friends and families of the junior football teams, including those from the Tabilk Blues, whom Wandong hosted on the day.

With a sea of blue beanies and socks bearing the Big Freeze logo, a silent auction, raffle, and Big Freeze helped raise funds for the worthy cause, drawing $3500 from the pockets of generous community members.

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Secretary Sharna Faralla said the turnout of the event was a proud moment for all.

“Our club is built on community, and seeing so many people come together for such a great cause makes us proud to be Warriors,” she said.

The coaches of each team – the Under 9s, Under 10s, Under 12s, and Under 14s – all went head-to-head in a Big Freeze ‘$1 = one vote’ bid to raise money, with the coaches who raised the most money being selected to experience the cold bucket dunk.

Coaches waited in anticipation of the icy plunge, uncertain of the winner until the freezing water hit, truly grinning and bearing it in spectacular fashion to rounds of applause.

Free face painting delighted many kids with colourful and funky designs, and complementary food kept sponsors’ bellies warm and full.

The day itself showcased a fantastic display of community support and sportsmanship as the Wandong Junior teams played against Tabilk under the winter sun, with cheers and words of encouragement – including the occasional supportive car horn – heard from coaches, families, and players alike.

Committee member and team manager for the Under 14s Lisa Bichard praised the Club and the local community for their support.

“It was super successful, very humbling. We started [MND Fundraisers] back in 2021. And going from just two teams to the Club building and everyone getting behind it has been fantastic,” she said.

“The Club is just the type of club when something affects one of our own, everyone gets behind it – and that’s the beauty of being in a small community.”

Last week, Fight MND proudly announced that the 10th year of its Big Freeze campaign had raised a record-breaking $20,151,382. The foundation highlighted Australia’s embodiment of co-founder, ex-Assumption College Kilmore boarder, and ex-AFL player Neale Daniher’s philosophy: ‘Don’t say. Do.’

Motor neurone disease is the name given to a group of diseases that affect the nerve cells involved in the control of the moving, speaking, swallowing, and breathing muscles.

Slowly, these nerve cells die off, and with no nerves available to activate these muscles, they too gradually weaken and waste away.

Eventually, MND patients are left motionless and mute. In most cases of MND, the mind is unaffected, leaving the sufferer ‘trapped within their once active bodies … bearing witness to it all’.

The average life expectancy from diagnosis is 27 months, which Fight MND aims to change through research, with the hopes of even finding a cure for the debilitating disease.

To support the fight against MND or learn more about MND, please visit

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