Thousands raised at Harvey Bowling Club in 24-hour ‘bowlathon’ to raise funds for TBC1D24 Foundation
The generous spirit and pure dedication of the Harvey community has again shone through, with thousands of dollars being raised for research into a rare genetic condition affecting one of the town’s young residents — the only person in Australia known to have the condition.
The Harvey Bowling Club raised the funds for the TBC1D24 Foundation after bowlers spent 24 continuous hours on the green for the club’s ‘bowlathon’ on January 25 and 26.
While the final total is not yet known, the figure is in the ballpark of about $20,000 — all of which will go towards vital research into TBC1D24, a rare condition caused by a mutation in the gene of the same name.
Young Harvey resident Ariella Italiano, 8, is the only known case of the condition in Australia.
For 24 hours, organiser Anthony Burnham, club captain David Goddard and Busselton bowler Charlie Joyce spent their time out on the Harvey Bowling Club green.
They were supported by fellow Harvey bowler John Wellington with his 12 hours of play and junior players Dante Burnham and Cam Wellington, who both spent eight hours on the green.
Speaking shortly after completing his full day on the green, Mr Burnham said he was “blown away” by the response to the fundraising efforts, which has spread to bowling clubs in Perth and in the Eastern States.
“It makes me emotional thinking about it because it’s amazing that people see the same things we see,” he said.
It was a busy 24 hours both on and off the green, with a busy night culminating in nearly 400 meals being sold.
While 96 competitors were having their shot against the bowlers, sports memorabilia, metal sculptures and parliamentary dinners were being bidded on at a silent auction.
Mr Joyce said he was “absolutely rapt” to have been part of the event and had his fingernails painted pink by Ariella.
“We’ve only got to put up with it for 24 hours, but Ariella and her family have got to put up with it for a lifetime, that’s the way we look at it,” he said.
Ariella’s mother Brooke Italiano admitted tears burst out amongst players and the family as the bell rang out to conclude the event.
“I did not expect to be overcome with emotion, or to see grown men overcome with emotion,” she said.
Ariella’s father Daniel Italiano stayed for most of the 24 hours and said the support was “amazing”.
“I don’t think we imagined what happened (on the) night — everyone rocking up to dinner and the amount of people bowling, the amount of support and just the general camaraderie from people we don’t generally know,” he said.
“For the foundation I think it is an amazing thing that they have done — it is a huge feat.”
As for Ariella herself, her favourite part of the event was having a go at lawn bowls herself.
“Great job to all the people who did very well — thank you,” she said.
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