THE people of Queanbeyan have rallied behind a local father of two and the recent victim of a serious assault by selling out the Acacia room of the Kangaroos Club to raise much-needed funds as local basketballer Andrew McInnes recovers from a brain injury.
Facebook support group 'For Andy and his girls' is working with Queanbeyan Basketball, Walsh's Hotel and the Kangaroos Club to hold a phantom race, dinner, and auction function on Saturday, October 25 to raise money for Mr McInnes, who is self employed but does not have income protection.
The 40-year old is currently in Goulburn Hospital recovering from a stroke, partial blindness, a broken jaw, memory loss, and loss of fine motor skills, all allegedly sustained in an assault at a Queanbeyan pub on Saturday, August 9, over which four people have since been charged.
But incredibly, the Kangaroos Club function was sold out in just 12 hours, with 250 people set to show their support for one of Queanbeyan Basketball's longest serving members. The club has since opened two extra tables. Queanbeyan Basketball president Jan Browne labelled the support as "incredible".
"We've never seen the outpouring of support as to what this is doing. It's just unbelievable," Mrs Browne said.
"The Friday before the phantom race dinner we're also holding a trivia night at the Top Pub, and we've already held raffles and donations at our last Yowies home game two weeks ago."
"The support of Queanbeyan in these things- ridding violence in our society- they've come in support of that."
The family of Mr McInnes set up their own charity 'For Andy and his girls' via a Facebook page, which has an impressive 731 'likes', and opened a trust fund for donations.
Mrs Browne said Queanbeyan Basketball and 'For Andy and his girls' had also worked with One Punch Campaign Australia to look down on violence in society.
"Even our local member John Barilaro has booked a table for the phantom race dinner. The support has been overwhelming," she said.
Police have since charged a 29-year old male with a series of assault-related charges and affray, and he will face Queanbeyan Local Court today.
Another 30-year old male was placed on bail facing a number of assault charges and affray, while a 38-year old female is also facing assault charges. Both will front court on October 10. And a 26-year old male was arrested on Tuesday and charged with affray and three counts of common assault, to face court on September 22.
Mr McInnes was initially taken to Canberra Hospital but was transferred to a specialist brain trauma clinic in Goulburn on Tuesday where he will spend time in recovery.
Donations to 'For Andy and his girls' can be made by sending a message to its Facebook page with the link https://www.facebook.com/forandyandhisgirls.
Seats for the Top Pub fundraiser on October 17 can still be purchased for $200 per table of 10.