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Tony’s dream trip to see New Orleans Saints

by Communications

Tony, who has a community home care package with Wintringham, recently went on a dream trip to the USA to watch his favourite American Football team play – the New Orleans Saints. His passion for the team really kicked off 14 years ago when the avid St Kilda Saints fan started following NFL (American National Football League) on television.

“St Kilda have only won one premiership in 1966 and that’s the same year that the New Orleans Saints were formed – which is why I started following them.”

Over the years, Tony has regularly called into a radio station in New Orleans who gave him free tickets to two of the games at the Superdome during his visit.

“We asked for the tickets and they managed to find a couple for me. And although I sat high up, I could see everything from where I was.

“Before the game, they did a show and I was on that speaking to Todd and Steve from ‘Fans’ First Take’ on in FACT, hosted by local New Orleans station, WWL Radio. They had me in headphones and speaking to the people – I felt good, not nervous.”

Tony said the biggest highlight centred on one player breaking a record.

“We lost the first game I went to, in the last few minutes – but the following week was really exciting because it was against the Indianapolis Colts, and the New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees had the chance to break the all-time touchdown passing record – and he did it! And I was there to see it.”

The radio station that Tony regularly called into, created quite the hype about his visit.

“The whole trip was amazing! The way people came up to me and they’d heard me on the radio, and wanted a photo with me. Someone knew I was coming to the casino on the Monday so took the day off to see me, another guy asked me to autograph his hoodie. When I was on the stage, people were shouting ‘Tony! Tony! Tony!’ I felt like a rock star!”

He also enjoyed lunch with New Orleans Saints’ ex-player, and radio show host, Bobby Hebert at his restaurant.

“No one at the restaurant believed me when I said we were having lunch with him – until he showed up!”

Trips like this don’t come easily for Wintringham clients – it cost Tony many sacrifices to spend 15 days in New Orleans as he saved up.

“I had to put in over $5,000 in a very short time, so I set up a trust account and saved whatever money I could. I had a strict budget for food and I had to give up a few of the pleasures – I didn’t buy any alcohol or anything like that. I didn’t go out. I didn’t do lots of things – and it was worth it!

“Then, while I was over there I stayed with friends so that saved me money on accommodation, and I attended a few events hosted by the radio station that helped save on a couple of meals as well.”

Tony is very thankful to all the support he received from Wintringham.

“My Recreation Officer Matt came and my legs were playing up so he organised a wheelchair for me in a couple of places – one of them being at a domestic airport while transferring to an international airport – we wouldn’t have made our connection without him doing that. I couldn’t have done it without Matt, it was great to share it all with him.”

When asked if he would do it again, Tony replied with determination: “I want to do it again – the budgeting starts again in March!”



How Can We Help You?
If you are over 50, struggling to make ends meet, want a quality affordable home and help when you need it. If you want a good life then contact us on 03 9034 4824.
Who We Are

Wintringham is a not-for-profit welfare organisation created to address the scourge of elderly homelessness. Wintringham Housing is registered in the state of Victoria as a Housing Association.

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Wintringham values the critical roles of staff and volunteers. We also welcome donations and the generosity of philanthropic partners.
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