Vodafone Warriors supporting new cancer charity
Tuesday 17 July 2012 1:20 PM
Vodafone Warriors owners Eric Watson and Owen Glenn are leading the club’s support of a new charity being launched in the name of three-year-old Whakatane boy Chace Topperwien who lost his battle with leukaemia last month.
The Dream Chaser Foundation – A Chace Topperwien Charity has been set up by Chace’s parents Keri and Ryan Topperwien with the primary goal of supporting families with children facing cancer.
After Chace was diagnosed with a rare form of myeloid leukaemia on his second birthday in March last year, Keri and Ryan Topperwien travelled overseas for an expensive drug trial in a desperate bid to save their son’s life.
Learning of their plight, Watson and Glenn each donated $25,000 towards the cost of the trial.
To help the foundation, the Vodafone Warriors have launched an online auction to raise funds and also have fund-raising activities planned around next Saturday night’s 20th-round NRL match against the Newcastle Knights at Mount Smart Stadium (July 21, 7.30pm kick-off).
Watson and Glenn have both returned home from Europe for a week and will be at the game when the Topperwiens will be their guests.
Watson said he was keen for the Vodafone Warriors to support the foundation, particularly having met and spent time with the family while they were in the United Kingdom.
“As a father it was very hard to see Ryan and Keri with little Chace. My heart really went out to them,” he said.
“As a parent you’d do anything if your child was in the same situation and they certainly did for Chace.
“I am in awe of their dedication and commitment to help others by setting up this foundation. I know the Vodafone Warriors’ community will get behind them and support us in raising a great deal of money for the foundation.”
Glenn said he was looking forward to meeting Ryan and Keri Topperwien and their parents.
“It is good timing that both Eric and I will be in New Zealand and at the game against the Knights,” he said.
“Ryan and Keri and their parents will be our guests that night and I’m confident that the Vodafone Warriors will play the game of their lives in memory of Chace.
“We want to give the foundation the best possible launch and we encourage Kiwis to get behind it too.”
The Vodafone Warriors’ auction went live on trademe.co.nz on Friday with three lots on offer – a Vodafone Warriors family extravaganza, a Vodafone Warriors corporate extravaganza and a Vodafone Warriors backyard league clinic. CLICK HERE
(see details of lots below). The auction closes on Monday, July 23.
Match day sponsor TNT has pledged cash for points in support of the foundation when both the Vodafone Junior Warriors and the Vodafone Warriors play the Knights. TNT will donate $100 for every try and $50 for every goal scored by the club’s two teams (the NYC match kicks off at 5.15pm).
There’ll also be an auction in the Club Lounge on game day when Vodafone Warriors members and guests will be able to bid for a signed 2012 Vodafone Warriors home jersey and $500 worth of SKYCITY vouchers.
“We really appreciate what Eric, Owen and the Vodafone Warriors are doing to support this cause,” said Keri and Ryan Topperwien.
“This is our starting point. We hope that as we grow so too will our hopes and dreams of being a major child cancer charity in Aotearoa.
“Since the beginning of Chace’s fight, we have really pushed to raise awareness about the importance of donating bone marrow. Out of nine million people on the international bone marrow registry, there were no matches for our son because of his Maori ancestry.”
• For more information about Dream Chaser Foundation A Chace Topperwien Charity please contact Keri or Ryan Topperwien at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
• A website is also being set up: www.dreamchaser.co.nz
The lots for the Vodafone Warriors’ online auction are:
• Vodafone Warriors Family Extravaganza
o Family pass (two adults and three children) to the Vodafone Warriors v Cronulla Sharks game at Mount Smart Stadium on Sunday, August 5
o A child (aged 5–13) to run the match ball on at the start of the NRL fixture Vodafone Warriors v Cronulla Sharks game on Sunday, August 5
o A 2012 signed Vodafone Warriors home jersey (black)
o The opportunity for the family to meet their favourite Vodafone Warrior after the Vodafone Warriors v Cronulla Sharks game in the team gymnasium
o A Family Pass for the 2013 Vodafone Warriors season including membership packs
• Vodafone Warriors Corporate Extravaganza
o A gold table in the Vodafone Warriors’ Club Lounge for 10 people to the Vodafone Warriors v Penrith Panthers game at Mount Smart Stadium (August 17-20, date and time to be confirmed)
o Framed 2012 signed home (black) and away (white) jerseys
o The framed jerseys to be presented by a Vodafone Warrior at your table after the game
o Successful bidder will be able to meet their favourite Vodafone Warrior after the Vodafone Warriors v Penrith Panthers game
• Vodafone Warriors Backyard League Clinic
o A Backyard League clinic for up to 30 children at either a school or rugby league club in Auckland of your choice
o Vodafone Warrior gift bags for each child
o Match tickets for 30 children and 10 adults to attend the Vodafone Warriors v Cronulla Sharks game on Sunday, August 5 at Mount Smart Stadium.