Ross Coonan was a contract harvester who followed the seasons from Dysart in Central Queensland through to Junee in New South Wales. He made an abundance of friends in his (nearly) 49 years, many of whom at one stage or another worked with him as either employee or employer. Ross was given a myriad of nicknames in his time, the most common being ‘Captain’ – hence the name Captain Coonan’s Catch a Cure for Leukaemia Night.
It was with great hilarity to all who knew him, that in late 2006 Ross started putting himself on light duties and knocking off work at 4pm. He was a hard worker and this was generally unheard of. However, on the 17th January 2007 he was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia. Drugs were plentiful, and although he did react severely to them, remission was granted later in the year. However, the leukaemia recurred in 2008. With great luck, a suitable donor was found to enable Ross to have a bone marrow transplant. Ross made it through this process and all was well for a while. Sadly though, in 2009 Ross and his family were given the news that he had perhaps only a month left, as the leukaemia had returned despite the doctor’s best efforts to place him in remission for good.
On the 22nd May 2009, Ross passed away after dealing with the disease for nearly 2 1/2 years. It was evident at his funeral that he was to be sorely missed by his family and friends, and still is to this day.
Captain Coonan’s Catch a Cure for Leukaemia Night is being held in Ross’ memory around the 5th anniversary of his passing. The vision is for it to be an extremely entertaining night for all, and of course, to raise funds for the Leukaemia Foundation at the same time. The night is to include an auction, the drawing of a raffle, and some brave people who will shave their heads. To top the night off after the official bits and pieces are done and dusted, Liam Brew (2009 Star Maker winner) will be our entertainment for the rest of the evening.
This fundraiser event is for all ages to enjoy. The Taroom State School P&C will be running a bar for those over 18 years old. Entry tickets will be available prior to the night and also at the door. Please remember that this ticket covers the cost of the finger foods & desserts (you will get fed!), as well as a free entry into the lucky door prize for every person on the night. Kids under 5 years old are free, and the prices are:
Child (5-15yrs) – $10
Family (2 adults + 2 or more kids): $55
If you are able to purchase your tickets prior to this event, it would be a massive help in terms of organising the catering. CHEERS! The Taroom Cancer and Palliative Care Group will be preparing and serving on the night.
Finally, there will also be a prize for the person with the craziest hair do at Captain Coonan’s Catch a Cure for Leukaemia Night. For those who wish to have their hair coloured on the night, you can do so for a gold coin donation; if you wish to shave your head at the last minute it will be a cool $10.
A courtesy bus will be running on the night: more details to come.
Thank you to the Banana Shire Council for providing the bus and to Brian Harris who will be driving it on the night.
See you all there 😀