Jodie McNaughton, her son Ethan Ryan and her mother Penny McNaughton proudly wearing their Movember shirts in honour of Rhys.
Jodie McNaughton, her son Ethan Ryan and her mother Penny McNaughton proudly wearing their Movember shirts in honour of Rhys. Photo: Contributed

Movember campaigns for Rhys raise $83k

MAKING a positive out of a negative has given Jodie McNaughton strength with Movember campaigns for her late son raising $83,000.

A Southern Cross University teaching student, rugby player and part-time model, 24-year-old Rhys took his own life in October.

When the campaign was launched, Ms McNaughton said they didn't think it would be such a huge success.

"At first we thought $10,000 and as we kept going we kept moving the goalposts because at every stage we met our goal we'd try to raise more," she said.

"At $20,000 then $30,000 we thought lets try for $50,000.

"When we got to $50,000 we thought lets go, lets go.

"With all the sites combined we have raised about $83,000 so far.

"Everybody is really suprised but they are all really proud of what they achieved."

The effort saw the Hotter than Zac Efron campaign place second, nationally, in the teams category and ninth globally.

Ms McNaughton is now taking solace in the fact that her son's death was not in vain.

"I think the timing of my son's death and the Movember campaign was so fortunate," she said.

"Because Rhys in his death with help another family or save another mother's son.

"There are funds now that have been raised due to what happened to my son that will save somebody elses life.

"I think the most important thing is that Rhys and I were able to make a difference to someone elese in the future."

The fundrising effort by several Movember teams was a joint effort by Rhys' friends on the Northern Rivers and the Central Coast.

"Everybody as a community on the Central Coast and around Byron were so generous," she said.

"We had tips from restaurants, tips from pubs, a weeks wage was donated.

"Everybody has just wanted to be a part of making a positive out of a negative.

"I don't know how I'm going to go after this Movember campaign is over because its given me purpose, cause, its given me drive. its given me strength."

A paddle out will be held at Rhys' home break at Soldiers Beach, on the Central Coast this Saturday from 1:30pm.

On Sunday from noon at Wollongbar's Pioneer Tavern there will be raffles, auctions, a barbecue, and a live band in a family friendly environment.

All profits go to the Movember campaign for Rhys McNaughton organised by Nathaniel Regueira.



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