DOING WHAT'S RIGHT: Samuel Johnson and Teilah McKelvey put aside their needs to raise money for cancer research.
DOING WHAT'S RIGHT: Samuel Johnson and Teilah McKelvey put aside their needs to raise money for cancer research. Bianca Hrovat

Warwick warms Samuel Johnson's soul

FOUR days is not long enough to plan a large scale event for a national charity, unless your personal mantra is to "do what is right, not what is easy.”

When the team from Love your Sister reached out to Teilah McKelvey from the Warwick Show and Rodeo for a fundraiser Saturday night she almost turned them down.

The event organiser felt overwhelmed by the short notice and unsure of whether she could bring together enough volunteers to pull it off.

But, as LYS founder Samuel Johnson later said, "Warwick really turned it on”.

In two days, Mrs McKelvey assembled a crack squad of Warwick businesses to support the cancer research charity with Soup for the Soul.

"In this day and age volunteering is a dying thing,” Mrs McKelvey said.

"So I was so grateful to everyone for coming in on such short notice and showing their support for Sam.”

The Warwick Condamine Sports Club, Just Because Gifts & Flowers, The Cherry Tree, Little Gallery Cafe, The Horse and Jockey, Kerry Smith and Heidi Davidson battled it out to see who could cook the best soup for the cause.

Mr Johnson said the turnout was overwhelming and described himself as tired, but emotionally full.

"Warwick has given me the whole gamut in a way that really typifies small towns in Australia,” he said.

From the young to the old, from the schools to the streets, Mr Johnson listened to residents as they told him how their lives had been affected by the disease.

"One thing I've learned from the Warwick locals is my family definitely had it pretty good with only one person having cancer,” he said.

"I'm meeting entire families who have been ravaged by it.”

From here Mr Johnson travels to Kingaroy and beyond, planning to spread his message until Christmas 2020 without any break time in between stops.

"Cancer is always busy,” Mr Johnson said.

"So I always have to be busier than it.”