GOLF enthusiasts from the New South Wales shipping community met at Long Reef Golf Club on Friday for the annual Shipping Industry Charity Golf Day.

The long-running golf challenge raises money for the oncology research unit at the Westmead Children’s Hospital. Golf day organiser Robert Wilson said the annual event typically raises up to $40,000 each year.

“This group has actually raised about $790,000 in total for Westmead Children’s Hospital,” Mr Wilson said.

“So, with the donation that will inevitably come from today, we’ll top $800,000.”

Senior paediatric oncologist Geoff McCowage told the group about a new drug used in research trials that recently helped shrink a stubborn tumour in a young girl’s brain.

Dr McCowage said the vital infrastructure that supports this kind of research is not funded by the government.

“You get this drug by being on clinical research trials, and you can’t be on clinical research trials unless you’ve got a clinical trials program,” he said.

“We can only have this [program] because of the support of people like you, to have this standing infrastructure there to conduct these trials.”

And guest speaker Karen Avgenicos shared a moving recount of how a tumour had impacted her son’s eyesight when he was a baby, causing one eye to be removed.

Her son Tom Avgenicos has grown up to become an accomplished jazz musician. He and his brother Michael gave a special performance to conclude the event.