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Sydney lad Andreas Kirlappos, 9, has been inspired by the words of North Queensland Toyota Cowboys co-captain Johnathan Thurston to raise money for children less fortunate than him.

After watching Thurston pay tribute to the children living in the strife-torn Aboriginal community of Aurukun during a post-match interview following the June State of Origin series opener, Andreas – whose family runs a gourmet sandwich shop in suburban Sydney – told his mum Rima that he wanted to “help the kids out”.

After the family discussed possible ways to raise money, it was decided he could set up a fresh lemonade stand in the shop, with Andreas selling cold drinks to customers with the aim of donating proceeds back to the Cowboys’ community programs.

The Kirlappos family have donated $700 to the Cowboys Community Foundation, thanks to Andreas’s selfless efforts.

The Foundation is a community-owned charity improving employment, health and social outcomes for young North Queenslanders through education-based programs.

The Kirlappos family – including Andreas’s older sisters Yazmine and Samara – met JT in Sydney on the Saturday before the team’s Round 23 match against the Sydney Roosters, where they presented the cheque.

The club’s community department is currently exploring options on how the money will be best delivered to the Aurukun community.

Acknowledgement of Country

North Queensland Cowboys respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.