Matty Rake fundraiser ‘successful’ with help of footy star

The family of a late Wagga dad have been blown away with support after their annual fundraiser in his honour accumulated $45,000 for Can Assist with the help of a footy icon.

Matty Rake was diagnosed with metastatic bowel cancer in December 2020 and underwent an 18-month journey of intense chemotherapy, surgery and radiation before he died in June 2022.

Aged just 39 at the time, Matty left behind two beautiful children, Ellie, 13, and Joey, 11.

Last year, Matty’s family decided to raise funds for Can Assist Wagga as they had supported him throughout his battle.

Over three months the family accumulated more than $15,000, but this year decided to go above and beyond by holding the Matty Rake Memorial Day.

“The Matty Rake Memorial Charity Day was an opportunity for family, friends and the wider community, to get together for an enjoyable day to remember Matty, raise awareness for bowel cancer, and importantly raise much-needed funds for the local branch of Can Assist,” Matty’s sister Trina Rynehart said.

Matty’s father had been accumulating donations over six months from local businesses to be auctioned off on the night – one of the auctions a jersey.

Wagga-born Australian Rugby League great Chris Mortimer donated a Canterbury-Bankstown jersey signed by him and his three professional football brothers.

The jersey raised more than $5000 of the total $45,000 raised on the night – with the football icon making an in-flesh appearance himself.

Mrs Rynehart said she was blown away by the show of support from local businesses and the hundreds of people who attended on the day.

“Throughout Matty’s cancer journey, we came to realise the importance of local charities like Can Assist, and in particular the practical ways that they assist people battling cancer,” she said.

“Things such as fuel cards when needing to travel to Sydney offer much needed assistance when times are at their most challenging.

“Special thanks must go to those who donated auction items and raffle prizes, local businesses who provided food and refreshments on the day, and of course the approximately 200 people who came to support a special day.”

Mrs Rynehart said the show of people was a reflection of how loved Matty was by so many.

“He was a great person and a popular person,” she said.