Little Red’s legacy grows
By Adrienne Hartnett
Under ominous skies, Little Red’s Annual Memorial Run hit the asphalt for its third lap over the weekend, not only weathering storms but eclipsing expectations, raising a staggering $11,500 for Asthma Australia.
Launching three years ago, this charity ride, initiated by Savanna’s parents Natalie Coall and Nathan Symonds, was created not only to remember the tenacious spirit of young Savanna, but a rallying cry against a silent adversary — asthma.
Few wouldn’t know Savanna’s (or ‘Little Red’ as she was affectionately known) story. She was just 14 when she suffered a fatal asthma attack, leaving her family and the community in shock.
A proud member of the Rutherglen Cats for 10 years, Savanna displayed a passion for sports that went beyond the field. From boxing to cross country, she fearlessly embraced each challenge, demonstrating resilience and determination all while managing the complexities of asthma.
In the face of adversity, the family turned grief into action, ensuring that Savanna’s memory would become catalyst for positive change and help fix perceptions around asthma.
The inaugural run exceeded expectations, raising over $13,000 for Asthma Australia. The second run, held last year, was also a significant success, raising over $9,000.
Despite challenges posed by inclement weather during this year’s 170 km ride, the community’s spirit prevailed. And while around 100 riders were drenched, forcing a reroute and the breaking up of the group, participants safely returned to the Newmarket Hotel for an evening filled with raffles, auctions and prizes.
As the rain came down, so did the generosity,
with this year’s event raising over $11,000, with an estimated $33,000 now raised to support Asthma Australia.
When asked about she felt about what had raised, Natalie said she was lost for words.
“When I think about it all, it’s amazing what we have been able to achieve in honour of our daughter,” she said.
“I know Savanna would be amazed if she knew what we were achieving too.
“When Nathan and I first set out to do this we thought we might raise $1000. It’s just incredible, and it’s not because of us, it’s the community. We just run the event.
“This wouldn’t be possible without all the support of friends, family, the community and local businesses. Businesses like Corowa Rutherglen Real Estate who donated $1000, or Lowes BP who donated fuel vouchers. It doesn’t matter if it’s $20 or $2000, every dollar counts.”
Reflecting on Saturday’s run Natalie revealed the nerves leading up to the big day. “I was checking the radar all week,” she said. “With all the organising that goes into it, you just want it to be a perfect day for everyone.
The rain held off for a few hours but when it came down, the ride had to be changed. I want to give a special shout out to the Barnawartha Star Hotel who accommodated us on very short notice.”
Natalie, who is an asthmatic herself along with Savanna’s younger sister, emphasised the importance of finding a cure for asthma.
“We’ve created a bit of awareness of Savanna’s story at a local level, but I still think there is still more to be done in terms of education and finding a cure,” she said.
“I would like to get some information into the schools. Asthma is so serious, and I just want to help the Asthma Australia organisation as much as possible to find a cure.”
According to Asthma Australia one in every nine Australians directly impacted by asthma. Asthma is among the top 20 reasons people present to hospital emergency departments and sadly, more than 400 people die every year because of it.
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