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Ben Ihlow passed away from complications with the flu on Sunday September 3 – his first Father’s Day.
Ben Ihlow passed away from complications with the flu on Sunday September 3 – his first Father’s Day.

By Jessica Howard

The sudden death of a young Moorabool father has spearheaded a fundraising
campaign to help support his wife and son.

Ben Ihlow passed away from complications with the flu on Sunday September 3 –
his first Father’s Day. He worked at the local Foodworks supermarket in Bacchus
Marsh.

The online fundraising page was created by the Myrniong Primary School’s parent
community on Tuesday (September 5). Ben’s wife Samantha is a grade-three
teacher at Myrniong Primary School, their son Andrew is yet to turn one.

A member of the parent community said the fundraiser was a way for people to offer
more than just flowers and a card.

“Sam is a really integral member of our school community and a vibrant member of
staff. She has done so much for all the students and this is a really terrible time for
her so we want to be able to support her and her young son. It is the least we can
do”.

At the time of writing, close to $13,000 had been donated by the community – a
figure that well exceeded the initial goal of $5,000.

Rival football and netball clubs, Darley and Bacchus Marsh have also rallied together in support of the Ihlow family, with donation tins and a raffle to be held over the weekend of finals football.

“Whilst we are fierce rivals on the field and more so this weekend, the Darley FNC will come together with our club to rattle the cans and put on two huge meat trays (donated by Meat the Marsh) across the senior day on Saturday and the junior day on Sunday,” a Facebook post by Bacchus Marsh FNC read.

“Both of our committees, junior and seniors are committed to this cause and we urge you to donate what you can”.

Darley FNC President, Ray Newton said Hyped Media, an advertising agency in Brooklyn, Victoria, had also donated the use of a portable LED screen to use as a second scoreboard and convey messages to the crowd.

If you wish to donate to Samantha and Andrew Ihlow, the online fundraiser will be open to the community until early October.