Last month something amazing happened. these two local ladies put their heads together to initiate one of the biggest fundraisers of the year, achieving Nearly $20,000 in total. This was their own brainchild to help one special little boy with the community’s support …
Names: Nicole ‘Nic’ Keen and Sarah ‘Sair’ Julian.
Did you grow up in the area, or did you come to live here?
Nic: I moved to Forster with my family when I was 12 years old from Orange, NSW. Lived in Newcastle for a few years while at uni, but returned to beautiful Forster as soon as I graduated.
Sarah: I moved here 3 years ago from Sydney and will never leave!
Nic: I’m a teacher at Manning and Great Lakes Early Intervention.
Sarah: I am a mummy, Civil Celebrant and Office Manager!
How did you come to meet the very special Brody, and how did he impact you?
Nic: I met Brody when I became his teacher at MGLEI in 2009. His mum Vicki and I became good friends when we realised how much we had in common, and Brody became my special little mate. He now refers to me as ‘Teach’, and I talk to him on the phone as often as possible.
He is a little ball of energy that I’ve lovingly referred to as ‘my little Tassie devil’ (because he moves through a room like a little tornado). He’s the sort of kid that is impossible not to love, with an infectious smile you can’t resist.
Sarah: I have never met Brody, but can’t wait for my very first cuddle!
What inspired the mission to raise money for Brody?
Nic: Brody’s mum Vicki is the most caring person you could ever meet and would do anything for anyone. Even when she’s doing it tough, she tries to help others.
I’ve spent the last 12 months trying to get some funds together to help her out of tough times and then Sarah came on board … and the rest is history!
Sarah: I responded to a Facebook comment written by Vicki, and she told me that “there was nothing anyone could do”… Yeah right! [She will never doubt me again]!
Has Cancer touched your life personally?
Nic: I lost my best friend to Cancer in 1996, then another good friend a few years later. I also had my own little scare this time last year. It’s tough and it affects everyone, not just the immediate family, in many different ways.
Sarah: I am a very grateful Cancer survivor and just like Nic, have lost friends and family to this evil disease, including my dad 4 years ago.
How much money has been raised to date from the BRODY ROCKS Campaign?
Nic: So far, over $18,000, but there a few more things happening that will increase our total. Our aim was $20,000, but we never in a million years thought we’d get anywhere near that!
Sarah: Ditto – we had $20,000 in our dreams, but are completely gobsmacked that 2 girls from Forster / Tuncurry have come anywhere near that!
None of it would have happened without our amazing community.
What has been the most rewarding and challenging part of the journey so far?
Nic: The most rewarding was seeing an entire community come together to support such a wonderful family. The most challenging was the lack of sleep Sarah and I lost from sheer excitement! The entire event was pretty easy, and everything fell into place better than we could have ever wished.
Sarah: Seeing the impact ordinary people can have when they put their heart and soul into what they believe in.
Instead of sitting on our lounges watching other people do the hard work, Nic and I got our hands dirty, messed up our houses and completely relished in the mad, mad world of fundraising!
In 3 weeks we have changed a little boy and his beautiful mummy’s lives forever, and not just financially …
Who would you like to thank for being a part of the process?:
The Forster Tuncurry LIONS Club – Dennis New and crew, Tuncurry Bowling Club – Paul Erickson and Brett Gay, Tuncurry Sporties Club – members and patrons, Nabiac Public School, Tuncurry Public School, Stephen ‘Sarge’ Sargeant, V8 Supercars Australia, Rewind Digital Media – Daniel Kirkman, Watermark Studio – Wayne Booker, 170 plus local businesses, plus – our volunteers, bachelors and of course both of our amazing groups of friends and family, who were very supportive and understanding through the entire process.
Brody and Vicki deserve the most thanks – they were our inspiration, they gave us energy and encouragement, and being a part of their lives has been uplifting and emotional for both of us.
I am sure they would want us to thank our incredible community for being so kind and generous.
> How can people donate?
Donations can be made by cheque to:
FORSTER TUNCURRY LIONS CLUB
‘Please Pay Brody Reilly’ [on reverse of cheque] Cheques can be sent to:
FORSTER TUNCURRY LIONS CLUB
PO Box 108
FORSTER NSW 2428
Thank you for your love and support – you CAN make a difference … we did!
Love, Sarah and Nic.