Charlie Lacey is not your ordinary eight year old.
The avid Brisbane Lions member experienced firsthand the hardships caused by COVID-19 and the lockdowns that followed in Queensland – his older sister one of many who have sadly lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic .
And while Charlie remained grateful that he could still watch his beloved Lions perform live at Gabba during the troubled 2020 AFL season, he thought of his fellow Victoria fans who were denied such opportunities.
When the Lions last played in Richmond in Melbourne, it was the 23rd inning of 2019 and a record crowd of 76,995 people packed the MCG to watch the two fit teams from the competition face off on the eve of the day before. of the finals.
It was the largest round-trip crowd the Lions have seen in their merged history and remains the largest home and away turnout for the AFL with a non-Victorian team.
No one could predict what was to come.
It would be almost 18 months later – in the second round earlier this season – when the Lions would once again play in front of their Victorian fans.
This Friday night will mark only the third time in nearly two years that the Lions have played in front of a crowd in a Melbourne venue.
This fact did not escape young Charlie, who channeled his sympathy for these Melbourne-based supporters into a fundraising campaign.
In short, he wanted to help some of his southern pride have a special day in football after such a long layoff.
He started fundraising by washing cars and selling cupcakes to members of the local community, before setting up a Go Fund Me page with help from his parents to further accelerate funding for his project.
He was overwhelmed by the level of support, but was especially delighted when he realized that one of his heroes – Rhys Mathieson of the Lions – had contributed to his cause.
Charlie has now raised $ 1,570 and plans to use it for a family in need this Friday night when the Lions take on the reigning Premiers at the CWM.
Specifically, he is looking for a family of two adults and two children, as well as two retirees (because “old people” mean a lot to him) who would like to experience a special evening of football without the financial burden.
He even got support from Brady Hotels, who agreed to donate one night’s accommodation to both the family of four (in a two-bedroom apartment) and the two retirees (in a King bedroom). at their establishment in central Melbourne for the night of the correspondence.
Now all Charlie needs is to find a suitable Victorian family to help him make his wish come true.
If you fit the criteria (family of four plus two retirees) and appreciate the opportunity Charlie offers, please send an email [email protected] with your story.
Charlie and his family will finally select the successful nomination on Wednesday in time for the Matchday 18 game.
Charlie’s incredible story of generosity is best described in the letter below he wrote and sent to the Club.
LETTER FROM CHARLIE
My name is Charlie. I am 8 years old. I live in Brisbane.
I AM LION !
I love the AFL and play for my local club The Kenmore Bears in the U8s.
Brisbane Lions supporters across Australia heard my roar, so listen to our Melbourne and Victoria Lions supporters.
I washed cars, baked cupcakes, did chores and had the support of the locals and our great Lions supporters. We’ve been fundraising and we can hear your roar when you need it.
I would like to help a family and two retirees who are struggling financially because of COVID.
My sister lost her job due to COVID so I know it can be very difficult. Not everyone can afford to go to a Lions game and bring their kids.
It is more important to pay the bills.
It is more important to put food on the table.
Keeping the family smiling and having a good day watching our Lions play a game is more important to me.
I lost my Nanna, I still have my great grandfather. My dad is grandpa’s best friend. Seniors mean a lot to me, so I want to make two old people smile again.
I want the kids to have a Guernsey Lions and wave a Lions flag. It is important for adults, especially the elderly, to wear a Lions hat to keep their heads warm.
I want them to have a hot dog, a sauce and a drink, but if you want something a little different you are fine.
I WANT YOU TO BE HAPPY BECAUSE THE BRISBANE LIONS SUPPORTERS ARE THE BEST AND WE WANT YOU TO RULE.
So Melbourne and the Victorian lions supporters, I need to hear you roar.
Don’t feel sad, don’t feel bad when telling your story. Let us know why and what happened during COVID for a chance to have this amazing experience.
I wish I could have been there to see you, please Melbourne and Victoria take care of our Lions. I hope I see them play when they get home.
By the way, I’m almost 9 years old!
From Charlie Lacey and all the Lions supporters who messaged, donated and had their cars washed and my cupcakes eaten.