City2Surf runner’s big donation

On the run: Chris Becker, Garry Woolnough, Bonita Lindfield, Dyana Brown, Leanne Newman, Melinda Oirbans, Shannon Smyth and Lee Walters.

On the run: Chris Becker, Garry Woolnough, Bonita Lindfield, Dyana Brown, Leanne Newman, Melinda Oirbans, Shannon Smyth and Lee Walters.

Can Assist’s Manning Valley branch will enjoy a welcome boost following the fundraising efforts of Gary Woolnough, ahead of him competing in the 2016 Sydney City2Surf.

Garry ran in the 2016 event alongside his daughter Joanna, raising $2105 beforehand for the Manning Valley organisation which helps local families dealing with cancer. 

Garry said that his training had prepared him well for the famous race, with the dreaded “Heartbreak Hill” not an issue for him.

“It’s actually where I overtook my daughter,” he smiled. 

Garry said ahead of the run that running alongside his daughter would be a special experience and also provided “a bit of added motivation”. 

For the record, official timing had Garry finishing the race in one hour and 21 minutes – beating Joanna by one second. 

Congestion at the start of the race forced Garry and Joanna to walk the first 200 metres or so, before the pack broke up and offered enough room to begin jogging. 

Although it was the first time that Garry had participated in a long distance style race, he won’t be taking any time off. 

“I’m running a 21 kilometre in Forster this weekend,” he said. 

Can Assist’s Leanne Newman said Garry’s donation would greatly aid the organisation. 

“We’re are a local charity, we raise funds locally, and we rely on the massive support from our local community which we are very grateful for,” Leanne said.

“People like Garry keep us going.”

Garry, who lost his father in 2009 following a brief battle with lung cancer, said he could understand the struggle families go through during treatment, making his decision to support the organisation an easy one. 

Leanne thanked Garry’s employers, Becker’s Family Funerals, for their support. 

“Becker’s themselves have been great supporters of CanAssist Manning Valley.”

The Manning Valley branch of the organisation started up in 2012, and since then has helped more than 200 local families.

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