Vodafone Warriors owners Eric Watson and Sir Owen Glenn, the players and the club have pledged a total of $20,000 to support the #RiseForAlex Round launched this week.
A huge schedule of activities promoting the cause is spread across this week’s 19th-round matches and will continue next week with the Vodafone Warriors planning initiatives leading up to and on game day against Manly at Mount Smart Stadium on Sunday, July 27 (4.00pm kick-off; match day sponsor: Suzuki).
Vodafone Warriors chief executive Wayne Scurrah said the club was committed to doing all it could to support injured Newcastle forward Alex McKinnon.
“It’s an opportunity for the whole community to get in behind the #RiseForAlex cause,” he said.
“With support from our owners, the board and our players we’ve been able to make an initial donation of $20,000 and are looking to raise more through the #RiseForAlex wristbands as well as a collection when we play Manly next week.”
Vodafone Warriors players have been promoting the #RiseForAlex wristbands since last week when veteran winger Manu Vatuvei and centre Konrad Hurrell were among the first NRL players to post selfies wearing the wristbands.
Many more players’ shots have followed including an image posted by Chad Townsend of the players after a pool recovery session.
Townsend has a special link with McKinnon. They were not only NYC rivals for Cronulla and St George Illawarra but were also team-mates for the Junior Kangaroos’ one-off international against the Junior Kiwis in Newcastle in 2011.
Townsend and David Fusitu’a both acknowledged #RiseForAlex by pointing to their wrists in their post-try celebrations during the Vodafone Warriors’ 48-0 win against Parramatta last Saturday night.
In another visible sign of support hooker Nathan Friend will wear customised #RiseForAlex headgear which he is auctioning for the fund.
Vodafone Warriors members and fans attending the team’s clash against the Brisbane Broncos on Saturday will automatically aid the cause; a dollar from every ticket sold at all eight 19th-round matches going to the #RiseForAlex Fund. The wristbands - $2 each – will be available at all grounds across this week’s round and will also be on sale at the Vodafone Warriors’ home encounter with Manly.
Fans can also buy the wristbands at the club’s headquarters at Mount Smart Stadium on by going online at www.nrlshop.com
For the 20th-round clash at Mount Smart Stadium the Vodafone Warriors will share funds raised on a 50-50 basis with the New Zealand Spinal Trust.