Charlie's Gift

  • 22 July 2021

In early 2018 I received an email from Lynn Sutton who asked us to please call her 85 year old Dad, Charlie Sutton as he wanted to make a significant donation to the foundation.

We made the call to Charlie later that day and I still remember it as plain as day as he was such a character.

Charlie was at the local pub having a beer that afternoon with his mates and he said I can’t talk now but I can later. So later that evening Charlie called us back and told us that he would like to make a $100,000 donation to MHF! Mark and I were blown away as this was the single biggest donation from an individual we have ever received. To say we were speechless was an understatement.

Charlie, a retired Glen Innes farmer loved his football and just told us that he admired what Mark was doing for brain cancer research and wanted to help out. In the April school holidays that same year, Mark and I packed up our 3 kids and made the 7 hour trip to Glen Innes to meet Charlie and his family. We had such a great time in this little regional NSW country town hearing of Charlie’s early life as a farmer, visiting his favourite local Chinese Restaurant and touring around the town looking at the local sites. Each year Charlie would purchase a few hundred beanies to give to the local kids during our beanie campaign as well.

In early 2018 I received an email from Lynn Sutton who asked us to please call her 85 year old Dad, Charlie Sutton as he wanted to make a significant donation to the foundation.

We made the call to Charlie later that day and I still remember it as plain as day as he was such a character. Charlie was at the local pub having a beer that afternoon with his mates and he said I can’t talk now but I can later. So later that evening Charlie called us back and told us that he would like to make a $100,000 donation to MHF! Mark and I were blown away as this was the single biggest donation from an individual we have ever received. To say we were speechless was an understatement.

Charlie, a retired Glen Innes farmer loved his football and just told us that he admired what Mark was doing for brain cancer research and wanted to help out. In the April school holidays that same year, Mark and I packed up our 3 kids and made the 7 hour trip to Glen Innes to meet Charlie and his family. We had such a great time in this little regional NSW country town hearing of Charlie’s early life as a farmer, visiting his favourite local Chinese Restaurant and touring around the town looking at the local sites. Each year Charlie would purchase a few hundred beanies to give to the local kids during our beanie campaign as well.

In 2019 Charlie generously donated another $100,000 to help with the funding of our regional Brain Cancer Care nurses in the NSW towns of Tamworth and Port Macquarie. Mark and Paul Harragon took a trip to visit Charlie towards the end of 2019 to thank him for helping us to make it a reality of having these regional nurses make such a difference to families living outside of major cities.

Sadly Charlie passed away only a few months ago aged 88 years. Since we first met Charlie he would often ring up for a chat, to see how we were going and to tell us what he thought of the Newcastle Knights. I only spoke to him a few days before he passed and he told me he wasn’t well and I could tell he was struggling to talk. The last thing he said to me was that he wanted all of the kids in Glen Innes to get a beanie but as our beanies were delayed a bit with coming and not going on sale until the June he didn’t think he would be around to make it happen. I promised Charlie that as soon as the beanies come in I would get them sent up to Glen Innes straight away. Sadly Charlie passed away 3 days later but I knew I had to get those beanies up to the kids of Glen Innes as Charlie has asked.  

On the week leading into the Beanie for Brain Cancer Round mid June Mark and I made the trip to Glen Innes and went around to all of the local schools with Charlie Daughters Lynne and Gail. It was such a special day and I can’t thank all of the children and locals  we met up there enough for making the day so special for the Sutton family and Mark and I. Charlie would have been stoked that all of the school kids of Glen Innes were still all able to wear a beanie this year. Mark and I are so grateful to have met Charlie and his family and are forever grateful for his contribution to brain cancer research. He has certainly made a difference to many lives.  

Thank you to Troy Arandale for organising this with the schools and delivering the beanies to the schools for us.

Written by Kirralee Hughes

Schools that were visited: Glen Innes West Infants, Glen Innes High School, Glen Innes Public School

2021 ETAP JULY21st6