Each month, the Men of League Foundation features a member who has shown outstanding generosity, compassion and commitment to the Foundation. This month, we are congratulating Garry O’Donnell from our Western Sydney Committee.
Nominated by fellow committee member Kylie Murphy, Garry, ‘Gaz’ or ‘G.O.D’, as he is more affectionately known, Garry is known for his outstanding enthusiasm and dedication for driving his committee to assist those within the rugby league community who are in need.
Kylie has had the pleasure of knowing Gaz for over two years and said he is a most worthy recipient of the Member of the Month.
“If we could clone Gaz then the Foundation would be in a great place,” Kylie joked.
“He’s just one of those guys that does anything for anyone. He seems to know absolutely everyone!”
Garry was essential in the Western Sydney Committee getting off the ground and is still instrumental in organising monthly meetings at the Coolibah Hotel in Merrylands, as well as their major events throughout the year.
Kylie says that last year’s event at the Smithfield RSL was a highlight for Garry, who had the opportunity to interview legendary race caller Johnny Tapp.
“It was a treat for Gaz getting to interview Johnny, you could tell he was enjoying himself.”
He joined the Foundation 10-12 years ago and approached Jim Hall about starting a committee in the Western Suburbs.
“I just thought there should be something of prominence out in the West and luckily Jim agreed,” Garry said.
“So we organised a meeting with a few blokes down at the Coolibah Hotel, 50 or so blokes actually, and formed a committee.”
The Western Sydney Committee is a great fundraising asset for the Foundation, with four of last year’s major events sponsored by their venues and completely selling out.
Gaz has been following rugby league his entire life and was fortunate enough to work at the Parramatta Eels for a number of years.
“Well I first started coaching at Lidcombe, before I went out to Greystanes and coached for about 10 years.
“Then Parramatta asked me to come and manage their reserve grade side as well as the Under 20’s when that came around.
“I feel very lucky to have a great bunch of people around me in the Western Sydney Committee such as Kylie, it’s a lot of fun,” Garry concluded.