Saturday saw an emotion-fuelled day of sport in Bowra, as footy players from across the whole Valley came to remember a legend and get behind another.
The whole Doolan clan was there to be part of the day which will help their son achieve his lofty ambition to climb Mt Everest.
The BBQ was cooking, the sun was shining ... HOT! Luckily the bar was well stocked.
The day started with a very informal game of touch football at Hennessy-Tape involving some 30 kids, varying in age from 10-15 and rustled up by an enthusiastic Carroll Townley on the mic.
She had little choice then but to become the emcee for the day, a task handled with good grace, wit, humour, the odd extravagant dance move and any amount of help from old Jim Beam.
A minor miracle followed, as two Valley rivals came together.
The Sea Eagles and Roosters boys combined with their ladies League-tag players to battle it out in a mixed game of Oz Tag.
The girls held nothing back, giving plenty to their male team mates and opposition.
A worthy mention here should go to referee Jamie Townley, who ruled over possibly the only game in history between these two proud clubs that finished without any hint of Reg Regan’s famous “biff” – talk about #UniteTheValley!
Next up saw two Goanna sides battle it out for season bragging rights.
Together they stood with the large crowd for a minute’s silence to remember our great mate, Camo Townley.
As one they chanted “Wokka Wokka Wokka”: the famous war cry of the Goanna which incited a game worthy of a significantly larger stage.
Even “the King” in his bluey, and whistle in hand, battled to keep the two teams at peace.
The game finished with many high fives, manly embraces and a hearty rendition of “The East Coast of Antarctica”.
Worthy mentions go to team captains Brad Graham and Scott Rouse alongside Charley Townley who, at 15, was not out of place amongst the many past players whose age I won’t mention, and guys who traveled vast distances to be there.
We finished with the traditional boat race, which ended too close to call, and awarded some 20-odd raffle prizes which were kindly donated by Nambucca Valley local businesses.
Sharon Atkins and Jo Simon did a stellar job of keeping the carnival vibes going with the music all day.
A huge thankyou must go to Rex Allan and Rocky who manned the barbecue all day and to Alison Curry, a raffle ticket-selling goddess.
Another mention should go to the Bowra Tigers who ran the canteen on the day, namely Lisa Mckay and Donna Doolan.
Representatives from each club and their committee contibuted to making the event a great day for all involved: Lauren Fayey from the Nambucca Juniors, Matt Field from the Roosters seniors, Gary Jarrett (Gonzo) and Dean Hillary from the Sea Eagles, and the entire committees of both the Tigers and the Goannas.
I think we successfully #UnitedTheValley (at least for a day) to raise awareness of mental illness.
And the $3500 in funds raised on the day will help Scotty Doolan prove you can #RiseAboveDoubt.