Tyson?s Day raises $80,000
By MARY MANN
A HUGE dose of Kyogle community spirit raised more than $80,000 for quadriplegic teenager Tyson Alcorn on Saturday.
More than 2000 people turned out for Tyson's Day, a fundraising event spearheaded by the rugby league fraternity to raise money for Tyson and his family.
The 18-year-old, who broke his neck in a trail bike accident in January, was a promising footballer and had been studying for his HSC.
All money raised will go to Tyson and his family to assist in the short-term, and with his ongoing care when Tyson returns to Kyogle from hospital in Brisbane later this year.
That milestone will be September at the earliest. "It feels terrific to know there are so many people supporting us," Tyson's dad Russell said at the event on Saturday.
"It's overwhelming. It's hard to describe."
The event, which included an auction and chocolate wheel, was held at the Kyogle Rugby League Football Club at New Park.
Goods for the event were donated from as far afield as Coffs Harbour and the Sunshine Coast, as well as from Northern Rivers businesses and individuals.
There was plenty of food and drink, live entertainment, golf chipping competitions, rainbow hair colouring and races for the kids.
Russell and Tyson's mum, Maree, said it was hard to describe how they felt about the efforts of the community. "Our family is just so grateful to everyone involved," Russell said.
"There are so many people here today.
"A lot of them I know, but there are a lot who I have never seen before. It's amazing to see so many strangers helping us out."
Tyson's accident occurred on January 21, the day after his dad's birthday.
He was riding his trail bike near Toonumbar Dam when the back wheel of the bike hit a log.
The bike flipped and Tyson's neck was broken, leaving him a quadriplegic.
Medical specialists have told Tyson and his family he has a less than one per cent chance of regaining movement below his neck.
Tyson is now in the spinal unit of the Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane. His parent and brother Logan, 11, have all moved to Brisbane for now so they can be with him.
John Spackman, the fundraising co-ordinator, said the Team Tyson committee was formed soon after the accident.
"The people of Kyogle look out for each other and want to help in whatever way they can," he said.
"It says a lot about Tyson and the community of Kyogle that there are so many people here helping out today."
Items donated for Tyson's fundraiser included a 1984 Chris Close Queensland State Of Origin Jumper signed by the footballing great, 13 jerseys signed by current NRL teams, boxing gloves signed by champion pugilist Kostya Tszyu, holidays, clothing, fishing charters and even driving lessons.