The Chiefs Rugby Club rallied together last week to host a poker night at Sky City Hamilton instead of their traditional club awards dinner.
The evening was pulled together to raise funds for the Gallagher Chiefs performance analyst Regan Hall's wife Rhonda Hall and raised a total of $133,810.
Rhonda was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer two years ago in 2018 and while things were progressing positively, unfortunately after recent tests it has come back and spread.
Rhonda and Regan have been part of the Chiefs whānau since Regan began with the Gallagher Chiefs in 2012. Regan is well-known for his efforts behind the camera, coding and supplying data and statistics for analysis and is a key part of the Gallagher Chiefs team.
The Halls have two lovely children, Chloe, 2, and Lola, 10. Rhonda is exceptionally dedicated and wants to keep fighting with the hope of seeing as many milestones a parent would want to see in their children's life, however it comes at a cost.
The poker night included a live auction featuring framed British and Irish Lions memorabilia donated by Gallagher Chiefs head coach Warren Gatland (auctioned for $17,000), alongside 2019 Rugby World Cup All Black jerseys from All Blacks captain Sam Cane and teammate Brodie Retallick.
Gallagher Chiefs jerseys, accommodation, massages, and more were on offer as a part of the evening's silent auction. In total the silent auction raised $30,740 for the cause.
Regan Hall said the generosity received was unbelievable.
"It was such an amazing night and Rhonda and I were so grateful for the generosity and support we have received. Just how much support we have was evident with an amazing turnout."
"We can't thank Kate and the club enough for all the effort they have put into organising the event as well as everyone who donated items, helped on the night and those who bid on some amazing items. A big thank you for Warren for his generosity in the items he donated as well as Sam and Brodie for parting with prized Rugby World Cup jerseys.
"Standing in front of the haka towards the end of the night was one memory we will never forget and was awe inspiring. The funds raised from the evening are going to give us a number of options both in New Zealand and possibly overseas, we can now focus on beating this terrible disease," Hall said.
Chiefs Rugby Club general manager commercial Kate Shirtcliff said it was a privilege for the club to be able to host the event.
"It has been outstanding to see our club rally together to get this result for Regan and Rhonda. Even on the day of the event, we were still receiving phone calls and players donating items.
"It was great to have the support from our sponsors, including Harcourts auctioneer Brian King.
"His performance was outstanding, encouraging the room to open their wallets for a worthy cause.
"Seeing him auction off a haka from our Gallagher Chiefs players for $6000 was incredible. The night was the epitome of Chiefs' mana and we are thrilled with the result.
"The event would not have been possible without the support from Jimmy Gifford who orchestrated the poker tournament on the evening. The Waikato Workingmen's Club for donating the poker tables, chips and their time. Sky City Hamilton for the venue and catering. The Cocktail Cart for their services and generous contribution. SBI Production for their visual and audio services and finally Gallagher Chief Angus Ta'avao for being the evening's MC," Shirtcliff said.
To continue to support Rhonda's journey, donations are welcomed via the 'Rally Around Rhonda' Givealittle page: https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/rally-around-rhonda