Please note javascript is required for full website functionality.

Community & Business

29 April, 2023

Musical Marathon for a great cause

Two of Gilgandra’s greatest passions — a love of music and support for important fundraisers — has been merged into one relaxing afternoon being held this weekend.

By Emily Middleton

The event is a musical marathon that will include a grand piano concert in the shire hall sponsored by Gilgandra Alive, with the aim of raising money for Australian cancer research.

But, as so often in the Gilgandra way, the event comes with an interesting twist. In this case, a bunch of committed Aussies who are running marathons around America!

Rory Cheal from Lightning Ridge, and his mates, Max Cutrone, Sean Stuart, and Jasper Gotterson, are in the middle of completing 80 marathons in 80 days.

From Key West on the southern tip of Florida in the United States, to the Canadian border in the north, the “Mates vs States” team are on the road and aim- ing to bring attention to the great work of Australian cancer researchers.

In 2015, Rory's mum, Amanda, was diagnosed with cancer. She was suddenly rushed to hospital and had a 12cm tumour removed from her bowels. It was stage four cancer, and had she not been treated immediately, Amanda would not have survived. This was just the start of her cancer journey.

The team is passionate about telling Amanda's story so that others do not have to go through what she and her fam- ily did. “Far from professional runners,

and some of us are even far from being athletic, this run is about showing what the human body can do, when it has a purpose greater than itself,” the team explained on their website.

“We want to put our bodies through the proverbial ringer to raise money for a cause close to our hearts. In the process, we hope to inspire thousands of fellow ‘average Joe’s’ that, if Sean can do it, you can too. We will be completely unsupported and self-funded. We will need to rely on each other to get to the finish line,” the group said.

With the “Mates vs States” team in mind, Gilgandra’s world class concert grand piano will be played by Janet Cheal throughout the afternoon. Mrs Cheal will be playing in support of her grandson’s efforts to raise money to sup- port this cause.

Mrs Cheal’s son, Richard, has been battling multiple myeloma since 2006 and has survived to welcome his first grandchild into the world in September last year. If it wasn’t for the dedicated work of Australian research teams, this may not have been possible. At the Musical Marathon you can expect to hear some classical favourites as well as a wide variety of all kinds of music.

Rory is preparing a video to give the audience a glimpse of their adventure which they are funding themselves, Rory having sold his ute to do so. All dona- tions will go to the Australian Cancer Research Foundation. 

Most Popular