The Dakota Duke story - Locals refute claim that Bendigo community didn't help

BENDIGO organisations who rallied to help teenage stroke victim Dakota Duke in the months after her accident are outraged disgraced former AFL player manager Ricky Nixon has accused the city of failing to help.

Nixon yesterday said he came to Dakota’s rescue when very few did.

In a statement to the Bendigo Advertiser, Nixon wrote: “I offered to help the Duke family because very few people in Bendigo did. 

“Not one person offered to organise an event, including the North Bendigo Football Club and the Bendigo Junior Football League.’’

But North Bendigo Junior Football Club president Tom Nicholson yesterday said that was “bulls..t’’.

He said the club, along with the senior footballers, the Heathcote District Football League and the Cambrian Hotel, raised about $10,000 for Dakota before Mr Nixon’s involvement with the Duke family.

“For him to say no one gave a damn is an absolute lie,’’ Mr Nicholson said.

“It was because of him that people stopped.

“When Ricky Nixon got involved, we washed our hands of it.

“We virtually got told to shut down the bank account we had set up.’’

Mr Nicholson said the NBJFC had organised a family day at the Cambrian Hotel, but both parties pulled out when they learnt Nixon wanted to be involved with the Dakota fund-raising efforts.

“As far as no one being willing to help, that is a crock,’’ he said.

Former Stryde owner Sarah Knowles agreed.

Ms Knowles organised the Fashion for Compassion fund-raiser for Dakota, and learnt a few days before the event Nixon was going to turn up.

“It’s an absolute lie – we had plenty of support from people around Bendigo,’’ she said.

“The statement he made to the Bendigo Advertiser is a complete fabrication and it is insulting to the Bendigo community to say that we didn’t give a hoot until he came along.’’

Related coverage: The Dakota Duke story - Nixon breaks his silence

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