Hundreds of people converged on Aberdeen, Alex McKinnon’s hometown, for the Aberdeen’s All for Alex (AA4A) black tie event to raise funds for the Rise For Alex Fund.
The sweltering heat on Saturday didn’t wilt the spirits of supporters who bid generously in the charity auction and enjoyed the entertainment featuring local Darryl Bowen who performed his song Alex (Day by Day).
Radio personality Ray Hadley was the Master of Ceremonies for the event at St Joseph’s high school with coach Wayne Bennett addressing the crowd and speaking warmly about his relationship with McKinnon.
The who’s who of rugby league attended the fundraiser including special guests Marc Glanville, Matty Johns and Michael Hagan as well as NRL CEO Dave Smith.
One of the AA4A organising committee members, Mark Wilton said the successful fundraiser was the culmination of hard work from a core group of people since May.
Wilton was thrilled with the exceptional support the event had drawn from the community.
“We were hoping for 500 people and we pretty much got it, it’s fantastic,” he said.
“It’s been unreal that they’ve committed to come out and have made a big effort to travel out. We are appreciative of it.”
He also praised the efforts of countless people throughout the football and wider community for donating valuable items for the charity auction.
Current and ex-players were also among the attendees including Newcastle Knights teammate and Alex's good mate, Korbin Sims.
“It’s great to see so many of the people of Aberdeen turn up tonight,” Sims said.
“It just goes to show how much support he actually has, not only here in Aberdeen but around the NRL.
“Everyone has shown so much support tonight by showing up, it’s really good to see.”
Alex McKinnon was born in Aberdeen and played his junior football for the Aberdeen Tigers, before the Newcastle Knights forward tragically suffered a spinal cord injury in Round 3 of the 2014 NRL Season.
In the wake of McKinnon’s accident, the Aberdeen community formed a committee in affiliation with Aberdeen Rugby League Football Club called 'Aberdeen’s All For Alex (AA4A)' to enable funds to be raised for Alex McKinnon’s rehabilitation and ongoing care.
Click here to visit the Rise For Alex website.