A Portarlignton artist is raising money for cancer research using the power of golf

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A Portarlignton artist is raising money for cancer research using the power of golf

Words by Keegan Bennett

This global pandemic has been hard for everyone, including cancer patients.

For Trung Truong, he sees golf as a challenge, a rewarding one at that, and since first picking up the clubs six years ago, he’s been hooked ever since.

“It’s not just the idea of hitting the ball I love going for the walk with friends after work and meeting new people are part of the highlights,” he says.

Trung is a local artist based out of Portarlington and owner of the Fat Fox Art Gallery, he says that whilst his gallery certainly has been affected by the pandemic, it’s given him plenty of time for two of his loves, his art, and his golf.

“Golf inspires me to create, as well as keeping me focused and healthy, which is something we could all use a little more of these days,” he says.

Now Trung has harnessed that passion for good and is in the process of training for the upcoming Longest Day challenge, which is organized annually by the Cancer Council.

“Personally, cancer has taken my father, one of my brothers when they were quite young, but in the broad term, the COVID crisis has begun overshadowing all other health concerns: we skip doctors’ appointments, neglect our general health, and seem to have forgotten how devastating the results of this can be.”

It is for this reason that he has decided to undergo the challenge. The Longest Day raises money for cancer research and has been running since 2013, it sees teams of avid golfers playing from dawn to dusk in order to complete several golfing rounds. Participants can choose from several options with regards to length, Trung however, has opted for ‘The Longest Day’, a full 4 rounds, or 72 holes, of golf.

The event is held each year on the 14th of December, close to the summer solstice, said to be ‘the longest day’ of the year due to the position of the Sun being farthest from Earth. The Cancer Council says the challenge has raised 2.3 million dollars since 2013, which has gone towards funding critical equipment such as several dermatoscopes – handheld skin microscopes – for regional areas without ready access to dermatologists.

Trung moved to Australia from his native Vietnam around 15 years ago, before moving to Switzerland where he ran an art gallery in St. Moritz for about six years.  Trung decided to make the move back to Australia six years ago and has cemented himself in the ever-growing art scene we have in Geelong and the Surf Coast with the opening on his own art space – the Fat Fox Art Gallery. It has been a key part of the Bellarine Peninsula tourism area, having been featured on the 2019 Northern Bellarine Peninsula Arts Trail.

Trung wants to use his platform in the community to raise awareness on the issue, “This global pandemic has been hard for all of us, including cancer patients. Some may be at increased risk of serious illness, while others may not have the funds or opportunities to receive regular treatment during this time. So, I decided to do something meaningful for others.

“By running a golf marathon in Portarlington, I am hoping to make a difference to the lives of cancer patients and contribute my part to the scientific research need to cure this terrible disease.”

So far Trung has raised $1744 of his $2000 goal and is on track to exceed that by some margin. As part of the fundraising efforts, he is also auctioning off a photographic print of his, titled ‘Bellarine Rural in Spring’. The photo was selected to feature in the Geelong Calendar for 2021 and is on canvas size 60 x 40 cm, overwrapping 4cm thick wooden stretch bars and completely ready to hang.

The photograph will go up for auction on the 12th of December two days before the golfing marathon at bids will start at $200.

If you are interested in bidding on the photograph, please email Trung at info@fatfoxartgallery.com.au

For more information and to donate to Trung’s fundraiser, please follow the link here