Just hours before he was made the first Life Member of the Gold Coast Titans, the Club ensured Preston Campbell would be a permanent part of the Titans’ future.
The Preston Campbell Foundation hosted its NRL Finals Preview Breakfast at Brisbane’s Pullman Hotel on Friday 13 September, with around 300 guests treated to an entertaining morning of footy talk, tall takes, and a liberal sprinkling on inspiration.
While the room was populated by a bevy of rugby league greats including the man himself Campbell, Darren Lockyer, Anthony Laffranchi, Clinton Toopi, Petero Civoniceva and Andrew Ryan amongst others, it was a speech delivered by a special 17-year-old girl that stopped the room in its tracks.
Holly Summers is no stranger to Titans fans.
The captain of Pacific Pines High School, Holly was recently acclaimed as the national winner of the NRL’s Community Young Person of the Year Award.
An inspirational young woman who has overcome many obstacles in her life, including clinical depression, to become a future community leader, Holly had the room transfixed as she spoke about how rugby league, the Titans and the Preston Campbell Foundation had helped to light her way forward.
The room was then entertained by interviews with each of the league greats by host Ben Ikin, before some wonderful prizes were auctioned off to raise money for the Preston Campbell Foundation.
Among the big-ticket items snapped up by the fans was an inner-sanctum Titans experience at a Gold Coast home game in the 2020 season at Cbus Super Stadium, which went for an impressive $1000.
But the item that caught the eye of Titans Executive Chairman Dennis Watt and Chief Executive Steve Mitchell was an original portrait of Campbell, captured in action for the Indigenous All Stars.
Despite some competitive bidding, the Titans were successful in landing the portrait of Campbell – the first player signed to the Club.
Just hours later at the Titans annual awards night at The Star Gold Coast, Campbell was left lost for words when Titans co-owner Darry Kelly presented the rugby league legend with the first Life Membership awarded in the Club’s history.
“Preston is a special part of this club’s history – not just because of what he did as a player, but because he gave the Titans our heart and soul,” Watt said.
“There is no more deserving man that Preston to be named our first Life Member. How typical of him that while he is up accepting his award from Darry Kelly, his thank-you speech was all about others, and his wish that he could do more for this club.
“I have said it before, but Preston is the example for everyone at the Titans to follow. His passion, his pride, the way he conducts himself every minute of every day. He sets the benchmark that all Titans aspire to.”