Giving Tony ‘Top Hat’ Moroney a first look, one would have never guessed what his life's greatest passion is. And no, it does not necessarily involve motorcycles or extreme body modification procedures that involve getting rid of his ears or having hooks pierced through the expanse of the skin on his back. Go ahead, keep guessing.
Give up? This man, who has dragons for eyebrows, greatest pleasure in life is helping out sick kids through fundraising. Fundraising isn't always easy, and it's a whole lot harder for Tony as many were either put off by his tattoos or assumed that he must only be pulling this off to get money for himself.
‘I really love to help people, especially kids. If we don’t have kids, what have we got? We don’t have anything. They are our future’
But that doesn't stop Tony from devoting his time and energy in fundraising. If anything, it motivated him, even more, to help out and keep making underprivileged kids suffering from illnesses smile. Tony has been involved with HeartKids in Queensland. HeartKids is a non-profit organization aiding the needs of Australian children with congenital heart disease.
‘I really love to help people, especially kids. If we don’t have kids, what have we got? We don’t have anything. They are our future,’ Tony said. Doing what he does, Tony is able to meet the kids he helps raise funds for charities for and get to interact with them.
Despite raising more than $100,000 for HeartKids, the charity still chose to keep their distance from Tony and his other friends who helped out in the cause due to Queenland’s VLAD (anti-bikie laws). But Tony was far from finished.
During Christmas-time in 2015, Tony gathered up his biker friends and played Santa Claus to sick and underprivileged children in the area. They gave away toys and good cheer and in return, the youngsters stole their hearts—especially Tony's.
Tony is currently keeping himself busy with children with Cystic Fibrosis. Together with his supportive wife, Annie, he plans to raise another $100,000 for young sufferers this year, making it his first fundraising activity for 2016. Tony may have found himself in a wheelchair with a broken right ankle, but he's fired up for fundraising more than ever.
‘There are a lot of people supporting us through this, donating online and the like. In fact, we raised over $300 with online donations and a bit more from shaking my tin downtown for four days,’ he said.
‘Broken ankle or no broken ankle, the fight continues!’
His heart went out to a young Cystic Fibrosis sufferer named Chloe. ‘With everything she has to endure on a daily basis and she never complains, how can you not help her?’ he spoke of the young girl.
Things have been good with Tony and his fundraising so far, despite his injury. The 50-year-old looks forward to getting back on track and keep doing what he enjoys as long as he can.
‘I’ve now started something and I am not going to stop, not until these kids have everything they need to enjoy a good quality of life,’ Tony added. ‘Broken ankle or no broken ankle, the fight continues!’
Read the rest of Tony's story here.