Big names for big barbecue

Local plans for the one of Australia’s most successful prostate cancer fundraisers are firing up, with all-star celebrities booked in for Latrobe’s Biggest Ever Blokes BBQ.

With the likes of the Footy Show’s Sam Newman and Gary Lyon, footballing legend Tommy Hafey and musician Greg Champion booked in for the 31 May event, the Latrobe barbecue is set to become one of 2013’s premier Valley events.

After raising hundreds of thousands of dollars in entertainment-packed events across the state last year, the ‘Biggest Ever Blokes BBQ’ has become an effective medium to spread the serious underlying message prostate cancer is in fact preventable.

Twenty thousand Australian males are diagnosed annually and statistics show men in regional areas are 21 per cent more susceptible.

With 3300 dying from the condition every year, it takes a larger national toll than breast cancer.

Speaking before what will become his fifth hosting of the Biggest BBQs, prominent entertainer and Channel 7 personality John ‘Deeksie’ Deeks said the Valley’s inaugural blokes barbecue was set to become the “first of many” successful local events combating one of Australia’s worst killers.

“We guys are the worst in world to try and get ourselves right when we’ve got a problem; when girls are always getting their breasts investigated we guys tend to be forgetful and are quite remiss about getting checked,” Mr Deeks said.

“Men are probably more likely to look after their cars than their bodies, but that’s crazy when there’s not many of us guys who are 40-plus and don’t know anyone that has been affected.”

Mr Deeks said the barbecue was a fantastic way to get blokes together and spread the prostate awareness message, which he said was affecting more and more Australian men every year.

“It’s a great lot of fun with blokes getting together drinking beer, eating meat, laughing with Footy Panel boys, slapping each other on the back and telling lies,” he said.

“But all the while there is that serious underlying message that prostate cancer is prevalent, it kills, and us guys can all do something about it.

“We are at the point in Shepparton now where we are selling out tickets six months before the event; it started in a small way in 2011 and has now become a very big day, with 900 guys coming to the barbecue every year.”

Latrobe’s Biggest Ever Blokes BBQ, to be held at Kernot Hall, Morwell, will also feature a monster auction, raffles and door prizes, proceeds of which will go to the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia and local initiatives to raise awareness and assist diagnosis and treatment of the disease.

Table bookings are now open for the event at $1100 for tables of 10, and can be made through Alfi Prestipino, phone 5133 7022 or 0412 747 476, Mike Answerth on 0438 048 150 or by emailing