Giving hope through a game of golf

18 Sep 2023

An annual golf day is giving hope to people diagnosed with head and neck cancer.

Research equals hope for cancer patients and their families, hope for a cure and hope for a healthier future, but research requires funding. The annual Ronnie Johns Memorial Golf Day fundraiser is creating such hope each year through a friendly game of golf.

Held at Bulimba Golf Club, the event is held in honour of Bulimba Golf Club member and keen golfer Ronnie Johns, who sadly passed in 2016 as a result of a head and neck cancer diagnosis.

Now in its 7th year the day is organised by Ronnie’s wife Christine and his son Chris and has raised more than $17,000 for the PA Research Foundation, and the head and neck cancer research of Ronnie’s radiation oncologist Professor Sandro Porceddu.

Held this year on 27 May, a near capacity field took part, with the competition taken out by the winning pair of Mal Greenacre and Timothy Dunleavy. Funds were raised through entry fees, raffle tickets and donations by generous golfers.

Chris Johns said he was eternally grateful not only for the over $1360 raised, but also for the enthusiasm each player had throughout the day, which contributed to an enjoyable event his dad would have loved.

“It was good to hear so much laughter coming from every playing group because Dad loved playing in a happy group. The comp was played in great spirit, making it a very happy and fun day,” he said. 

PA Research Foundation Chief Executive Officer Damian Topp said he looks forward to the day each year and enjoys seeing the commitment of the club’s members, who return each year to contribute to the cause and remember Ronnie Johns.

“Every dollar counts when it comes to research and I can’t thank Christine and Chris and everyone at the club enough, not just for their dedication to raising funds for research at the PA, but for allowing myself and the Foundation to be a part of what really is a great day on the greens,” Mr Topp said.

“The Foundation is committed to driving key head and neck research such as Professor Porceddu’s and that of others at the PA Hospital campus. Last year we announced more than $100,000 in funding for head and neck cancer research projects, we simply can’t do this without events such as the Ronnie Johns Memorial Golf Day.”

The Foundation and the cancer research it supports have also benefitted from other golf fundraising days at Bulimba Golf Club, including Viv’s Challenge and Australia Day.


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