Bear Crawl fundraiser collects $AUD12,000

About the author:

Tina Mata'afa-Tufele is a Pasifika journalist that has been writing and covering news related to the Samoan experience for over a decade. She's written for Samoa News in American Samoa, (covering news from Hawaii, the U.S.

  • Bear Crawl fundraisers
    Bear Crawl fundraisers

More than $SAT22,000 was collected in Samoa during the OKZ Jungle Fitness Bear Crawl and Head Shaves fundraiser for Jonathan Keil  and after the Samoan tala were converted to Australian dollars he received a clean $AUD12,000 to help in his battle against leukemia.

In Samoa, organizers of the fundraiser, Orion and May Keil presented Jonathan's parents with an enormous souvenir cheque to mark the successful initiative.

"This is the final amount fundraised – $22,282 which in turn gave Jonathan $12,000 Australian dollars," May Keil told Newsline Samoa.

"Handing the cheque over to Jonathan's parents was very emotional as we could see how thankful they were. Margaret (Jonathan's mother) was with Jonathan the day of the fundraiser and she said that he couldn't watch the live feeds properly because he was filled with so much emotion."

Jonathan begins his fourth cycle of treatment today and May expressed the utmost gratitude to everyone who supported the fundraiser held Saturday, 27 April, 2019.

May extended special thanks to their support crew of Peka and Harry Keil, Clint Keil, Tamafaiga Keil and Kolani Slade who went out with their sponsor forms and collected donations.

Michael Kapisi, Daphne Keil and Iverson Vaauli were also thanked for joining in the head shave and bringing in extra donations. To everyone who donated, May said: "Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!"

"We are only filled with gratitude after everything. We received more donations in the last two weeks which is how our amount went up so high," she added.

"The fundraising event took a while to plan, weeks of preparation and a whole day of physical and mental toughness but we would do it all over again for him, if we had to. Although our fundraiser has ended, his battle continues."