Valley rallies around Stokers

By ADRIAN MILLER

A REMARKABLE joint effort by service clubs throughout the Clarence Valley has led to a mammoth fundraising drive for Brushgrove residents Mark and Cindy Stoker.

Mark has been fighting an aggressive brain tumour since 2002, while Cindy was diagnosed with cancer just over a month ago and was given only a few months to live. The couple have four children aged from six to 14.

Rotary, Lions and the Clarence Valley Club have joined forces to help the Stoker family, with an auction to be held at The Barn in Grafton on July 31. It will be the first of many fundraisers.

Maclean Rotary Club president John Robson said another event would be staged by clubs from the Lower River later in the year, but it had not been decided what form it would take. A Stoker Family Trust Fund has also been established at Bananacoast Credit Union ? formerly Big River Credit Union ? and donations, which are tax deductible, can be made at any branch.

Clarence Valley Club president Herbie Abele said the Alumy Creek market, to be held on Saturday, July 30, would also be used as a fundraiser for the family.

Member for Clarence Steve Cansdell has thrown his support behind the fundraising drive.

"In my 37 years in Grafton I've never seen a more worthwhile cause," he said.

Grafton Lions Club president Bernie Barron said organisers of the auction in Grafton were calling for items to be donated to the cause.

He said people could donate items by contacting Kim Dahl in Grafton (66423666).

Mr Barron said the Stoker family's story was tragic, and everyone should get behind them.



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