North Queensland Toyota Cowboys CEO Greg Tonner has continued with his mission to understand the hearts and minds of the club’s regional members, sponsors and fans with an extensive tour of Far North Queensland towns.
Accompanied by Cowboys and Queensland State of Origin great Brent Tate, Tonner left Townsville on Wednesday last week, with the three-day tour taking in Ingham, Tully, Innisfail, Atherton, Mareeba.
The tour culminated in a special function held in Cairns on Friday to thank the Far North Queensland community for its continued support of the club.
While in Ingham on Wednesday, Tonner and Tate met with state Hinchinbrook MP Andrew Cripps to discuss how the Cowboys and government can best work together for common goals. That meeting was followed by morning tea with Platinum Cowboys members Lloyd Fraser and Lola Coyne, meetings with sponsors and representatives of Herbert River’s junior and senior rugby leagues.
“It’s crucial that we continue to connect with these communities which form a very big part of what the Cowboys are about,” Tonner said.
After Ingham. It was on to Tully to meet with Bartrac Toyota’s Peter Barra, Silver Star member Ken Rodger and Tully senior rugby league president Anthony Emmi.
The tour’s first day was rounded out with a visit to Innisfail and afternoon tea with Cassowary Coast Mayor Bill Shannon.
Overnighting in Innisfail, Tonner and Tate touched base on Thursday with Innisfail junior rugby league boss Daryl Subloo, valued member Joyce Bolton – the aunt of current player Scott Bolton – and Debbie Willmett before visiting former Cowboy and Innisfail product Ty Williams and senior league president John Kremastos.
Tate – who retired from professional rugby league last year - was thrilled to be part of the Northern tour, and revelled in visiting schools and other groups during the tour.
“It’s been a fantastic experience getting out and about into these really passionate Cowboys communities,” Tate said.
After Innisfail, the group headed to Atherton on Thursday afternoon, meeting with Adam Cole from John Cole Toyota, proud Cowboys member Karen West and Atherton rugby league representatives, along with Tablelands Regional Council Mayor Rosa Lee Long.
From Atherton, it was on to Mareeba and a meeting with Graeme and Andrew Ford from Mareeba Toyota before heading to Cairns for an overnight before a full day of visit followed by the 20-year anniversary function on the Friday evening.