It was an earnest promise made on an inspirational night that changed the course of Craig Glover’s life for the next few years. During a meeting with the late Connie Johnson – the inspiration behind cancer research charity Love Your Sister – Craig made a promise to her that he would personally raise $100,000 for her charity.
Connie, alongside her brother – Gold Logie Winner, Australian of the Year 2018 nominee and recently crowned Dancing with the Stars 2019 champion Samuel – established Love Your Sister – a foundation dedicated to raising money for cancer research. Glover, who underwent severe treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma as a teenager, met with Connie before she sadly passed away in September 2017.
“I remember the night I promised Connie I’d raise her $100,000 clearly as it was the last time we spoke in person,” Glover recounted.
“Connie taught me that we shouldn’t fear cancer and hide from it, we had to fight it front on. My approach was to hide from it and never mention the big ‘c’ word – ‘cancer’. Even though I had been through it personally and seen people very close to me pass away I didn’t want to acknowledge it.”
After a number of huge fundraising efforts in 2018, Glover, who is the ACT General Manager of Rutledge AV is now only $36,000 away from fulfilling this promise. Rutledge AV’s second annual Charity Golf Day, held this week, will hopefully be the push to get him there.
“My first $27,000 was raised during Connie’s ‘Big Heart Project’ with all the five-cent pieces. I always felt that money was raised from Connie’s hard work not mine. Whereas with raising the next bucket load of cash it was a lot harder and took a lot more of my effort.”
In 2018 Glover worked closely with Rutledge AV and Samuel Johnson to run two major charity events in Canberra – all within three days of one another! The first was the 2018 Charity Golf Day and over that Easter long weekend, he and Samuel took to a number of Bunnings Canberra stores to run sausage sizzles.
“I remember sitting with Sam in the hotel car park recounting all the money and sorting through all the leftover merchandise – mainly made up of bright coloured rainbow [Love Your Sister] socks everywhere. It literally looked like a rainbow had fallen from the sky and splattered on the ground in front of us, it was hilarious.”
These two events boosted Glover’s fundraising total to $64,000.
“Once we had wrapped up both events I was left feeling less stressed as I felt the target was finally within reach.”
Following it’s huge success in 2018, Glover hopes that this year’s Charity Golf Day – which aims to be even bigger and better than the last – will be the day his promise to Connie is fulfilled.
“If we sell all the tickets to this event I think we will be pushing very close to the $100,000 target. In fact if it’s a sell-out I believe we will hit the target during the day.”
So what happens when Glover reaches this milestone?
“I think there will be tears and smiles. Sam [Johnson] is a massive hugger so I’ll brace myself for that one!”
“In all honestly, I will feel relieved and try to enjoy the moment but that said I only have to look at Sammy boy and realise how much more there is to do before we can say the job is done.”
“I can picture Connie smiling and saying ‘well done, Craig’ followed by ‘what’s the next target?’”
And Glover has every intention to go beyond his $100,000 promise.
“All I can say is ‘watch this space!’”, Glover hinted.
“I’m hoping on the day to announce a major national fundraising event to take place later this year; with a newly adjusted target to suit.
But he remains realistic and added that before he plans to extend his goal, he needs to “come good on this [promise] first!”
Glover is quick to acknowledge the support he has received from his company and the wider AV industry in the country, including this year’s Event Day sponsors, Crestron Australia.
“Rutledge [AV] have been so great in supporting me in not only this event my all my different fundraisers over the years.”
“It’s not only Rutledge [AV] that has gotten behind our second annual Charity Golf Day but the entire audio visual industry in general. We’ve had all of our partners big and small get behind the cause and support the day either as a sponsor or attend the day by purchasing tickets.”
“I am truly thankful for all the support. You realise at events such as this that regardless of where you work, or how successful you are in life, cancer does not discriminate and affects everyone.”
Don’t miss your chance to be a part of this very special event!