It was appropriate that Royce Simmons' 1986 Kangaroo tour mate Terry 'Baa Baa' Lamb was present to witness the incredible generosity and enthusiasm of NSW's Central West grazing community at the Central Tablelands Livestock Exchange near Carcoar on Wednesday.
Lamb, Simmons and his cousin, local Paralympian hero Kurt Fearnley, acted as guest auctioneers to generate the best prices possible for the three lambs named after them, donated by well-known livestock buyer for meat companies and Orange property owner Badger Babbage.
Another Kangaroo teammate Paul Langmack and ex-Panthers and Bulldogs player Luke Goodwin looked on with glee before the group went back to the road and the 20km leg from Cowra to Woodstock.
More than $38,000 was raised for Royce's Big Walk from the sale, which included a No. 9 Panthers jersey branded with the name 'Simmons' which went for $2500.
Local boy Royce was quite emotional about the amount raised and the generosity and support of those who contributed.
"I'm just blown away," he said. "Again".
"The support my walk has received is honestly mind-boggling. I can't thank people enough."
Babbage, who has conducted several similar fund-raising auctions, said the respect people of the central west had for Simmons made it a privilege to help his campaign.
"I'd like to thank the people of the central west who showed their support by buying the lambs and helping raise much needed funds to help find a cure for this dreadful disease (dementia)," he said.
"And to see Royce so taken aback by their generosity was a great memory for all of us too.
"Don't worry, we'll get the jersey worn by his namesake lamb dry cleaned before we frame it!
"We raised $38,850 from the auction and sale of that jersey and have another one signed by Royce to go. Brilliant."
Royce Simmons yesterday completed the second of his 11 days walking, covering the 300km from Gooloogong to Penrith, to raise money for Dementia Australia and its research programs, and for junior rugby league.
He will complete the journey at Bluebet Stadium next Friday, May 27, when he walks into an expected massive reception before the Panthers-Cowboys clash.
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