As competition ratchets up to a new high for the finals, Maitland cricket delivered a wonderful reminder of just how close and supportive the cricketing family can be.
Maitland cricket stalwart Mick Heinrich and his wife Kristie were humbled by the incredible level of support shown to them and their young family in a recent fund-raising effort to help them as Kristie battles cancer.
In a matter of two weeks the genesis of an idea by Heinrich's City United teammate and skipper Matt Trappel led to a fund-raising night at Shenanigans and more than $7000 raised to help the Heinrich family with expenses related to Kristie's ongoing treatment.
"It started with a call from Matt to say the club were keen to support a charity of our choice," the couple said, "however, that quickly changed to 'mate we're going to help you guys out'.
"We hadn't asked for help and suddenly it was just there on the table.
"It really is humbling, it was from across all the clubs.
"We saw how wonderful the people of Maitland and its cricket community are.
"Such kindness, generosity and love is something everyone in the area should be proud of.
"The amount of support, both financially and emotionally, we've received in the past month is beyond words and more than we can ever repay you for.
"We particular wish to thank Matt Trappel and the City United Cricket Club family for their efforts in this amazing act of kindness.
"To them and to all the other players and clubs that have supported our family we thank you from the bottom of our hearts."
The couple said the support from everyone had emotionally recharged them after a sometimes tough journey since Kristie's diagnosis in November.
"When this season came around it was supposed to a summer 'off' so to speak," they said. "Work and a couple of holidays before our eldest went to school next year.
"But that changed in November. When Kristie was diagnosed suddenly life became a whole new ball game.
"We told a few people what was going on but in our own 'apparently' typical way, we just got down to the business of treatment and working out each day as it came.
"After all, we have a good chance and there are may people who are worse off than us.
"While it's tough both physically and emotionally you have to be positive and get on with life."
Kristie and Mick said they were still amazed at the kindness of Trappell, the City United and extended cricket family.
"We didn't ask for help but they saw the opportunity to give us a hand and that probably means the most," they said.