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"Photo: Paul Barkley / Melba Studios "

The Rugby League community has risen for Knights forward Alex McKinnon, raising more than $1.4 million to date to support Alex’s on-going rehabilitation and care.

A total of 147,201 fans attended matches during round 19 of the Telstra Premiership and the NRL has donated $1 to the RiseForAlex Fund for every person through the gates.

AAMI Park and the SCG Trust also provided a $1 donation for everyone who attended their venues, taking the total amount raised from the RiseForAlex round to $172,673.

NRL Chief Executive Dave Smith said the success of the RiseForAlex round shows how united the Rugby League community was right across Australia.

“There has been support from every walk of life, both inside and outside of Rugby League,” Mr Smith said.

“We’ve had kids who have given up their pocket money, contributions from other sporting codes and the major corporates have been incredibly generous.

“On behalf of everyone in the game, I just want to pass on our sincere thanks to everyone who has contributed to the RiseForAlex Fund.”

Fund raising efforts will continue this weekend with the Panthers, Raiders, Warriors, Bulldogs and the Titans selling RiseForAlex Wristbands at their home games.

RiseForAlex wristbands will continue to be sold through for the reminder of the 2014 season.

Among the NRL’s corporate partners who have supported the Fund are:

·         News Limited and Fox have presented Alex McKinnon with cheque of $300,000. The Daily Telegraph, in partnership with Fox Sports and Crown Resorts Foundation donated one dollar from every newspaper sold on Saturday, 19 July.

·         Channel Nine’s Footy Show was broadcast from Newcastle in front of a live audience of more than 5,800 people. The broadcast included an in-program telethon. Channel Nine also donated $50 000 to the RiseForAlex Fund.

·         Telstra has donated $20,000 and their call centre for The Footy Show telethon, providing 150 Telstra volunteers to man the phones. Telstra also assisted in the development of the RiseForAlex website with Raw Ideas and provided an SMS number to take public donations. In addition, Telstra dedicated all virtual and LED signage during round 19 to promote the RiseForAlex SMS and website.

·         More than $188,000 was raised through the Footy Show fundraising special and the Telstra call centre, including a $20,000 donation from Steggles Roosters Charity Nest.

·         The owner of Bulldogs major sponsor, Jaycar, donated $50,000 in addition to $10,000, previously donated to Alex earlier in the year. Jaycar also donated $20,000 to 15-year-old Curtis Landers from the mid-north coast who broke his neck playing rugby league in the local competition. 

·         The largest personal donation has been by a Newcastle gentleman Robert Blann.

·         Energy retailer, Red Energy, donated $50,000 to the RiseForAlex Fund on The Footy Show.

·         Radio broadcasters made significant contributions with 2GB donating $30,000 plus on-air support for the RiseForAlex Fund.

·         Triple M has dedicated significant air time to the RiseForAlex round and made a $25 000 donation to the RiseForAlex Fund.

·         More than $160,000 has been raised via the RiseForAlex website and SMS pledges promoted by Fox Sports, Channel Nine, 2GB, Triple M and Telstra.

·         State of Origin sponsor, Holden donated a Holden Colorado, which will be raffled later this year.

·         The AFL, in conjunction with its sponsor, Toyota has donated a Toyota Kluger.

·         Other key donors include KFC and Newcastle Knights sponsors Aurizon, Sportsbet & Lion Nathan, all donating $20,000 each and Carlton & United Breweries donating $10,000.

·         Thanks to Sony a special song written by family friend Darryl Bowen was recorded and made available for download on iTunes Sony Music. Proceeds from sales of the track will be donated to the RiseForAlex Fund

·         The Wiggles made the Sunday Tigers vs. Bulldogs game a family day. They created a song which is now available for download on iTunes and Google Play.