Tom Downie and Shannon Noll visit the children at Ronald McDonald House in Westmead

I had the privilege of visiting the Ronald McDonald house in Westmead with GWS ruckman Tom Downie and Australian Singer/ Songwriter Shannon Noll on Tuesday afternoon. The charity has a healthy and strong partnership with GWS Giants with Tom and Shannon inviting all the children to the game on Saturday afternoon (20th of August) to watch them live in action. Shannon will be performing on the Virgin Australia stage at half-time and Tom has been named to play in the NEAFL side Saturday afternoon.

Ronald McDonald is such a terrific charity and to see the amazing work that goes on behind the scenes, you begin to understand how important it is to keep donating to this incredible charity and maintain the beautiful homely environment for these families who are facing challenging times. The hard work put in by the workers and volunteers at the home is inspiring and definitely eye opening. It was an amazing experience and allowed me to gain more knowledge about what Ronald McDonald House is all about such as families visiting from all around the world and they can stay from one day up to a year.

Tom plays for GWS Giants and has done so for five years. His commitment and love for footy easily came across when he started playing and educating the children with the AFL basics such as how to handball and kick a footy. He spent quality time with all the children on the play equipment, as they showed him their favourite sections, the most common was definitely the slippery dip.

Shannon Noll shared many personal stories of being on the road and the life of a musician as well as many stories from Australian Idol, and the close connection he continues to maintain with Guy Sebastian.

I can’t thank Tom and Shannon enough for how cooperative they were with a student journalist like myself. They were very willing and happy to be filmed and interviewed throughout the visit.

The most memorable part of the day besides the incredible amount of smiles on everyones faces was definitely my experience interviewing Tom and Shannon. I was more worried if Tom was in the frame because he’s 201cm’s tall!!!  This is huge, 25 centimetres taller than me, thankfully he was (YAY).

I cannot be more thankful to Tom and Shannon for providing interviews about what makes these visits so amazing. To get the insight was intriguing and interesting especially for myself. Special mention also to Dan’s mum, Fiona for allowing me to interview her about why the visit’s are so special.

It was an unforgettable experience.

Also huge thanks to Leigh the GWS media manager for making it happen, Michelle from Ronald McDonald House, Craig and Sam (GWS media) who were there on the day.

I encourage everyone to get out to the game on Saturday 20th of August (NEAFL and first grade) as both games are expected to be extremely close. You also get the opportunity to see Shannon Noll perform live !!!

And the most important thing, make sure to be wearing your orange gear for #TrueColours and remember  #GoGiants !!!

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