Connor’s Erg 2023 – Over $100,000 USD Raised for Kids with Brain Cancer

The eighth annual Connor’s Erg Challenge was the biggest yet – raising over $100,000 USD ($150,000 AUD) for kids with brain cancer.
Over 500 big-hearted participants from schools and gyms in the US and Australia used their brawn for brains.
“Connor’s Erg Challenge serves as a way to honor Connor’s passion for rowing while raising needed funds for brain cancer research,” said Liz Dawes (OAM), RCD Foundation Founder & CEO.
Connor’s Erg has traditionally been a virtual 100km erg relay challenge that started between Stanford and Wisconsin, but has expanded to gyms, individuals and high schools, with many rowing their own way.
Congratulations to our top US fundraising team this year, the University of Wisconsin, Connor’s Erg OG’s, who raised over $16,000 USD.
In an incredible FUNdraising effort, Euroa Gym team raised a whopping $40,000 USD (approx $60,000 AUD). Lead by our Legacy Ambassador, Dustin Perry, the crew went above and beyond to fundraise, with huge support from the local community. Dustin was our top individual Australian fundraiser, with over $16,000 USD raised.
Brain cancer kills more children than any other disease in both the US and Australia and given Connor’s Australian American heritage, the Foundation found it only fitting to link the two countries to make the most of research initiatives for patients. Together our Australian and US arms link great research minds from both countries and beyond, creating a gateway for patients to participate in clinical trials and target key individuals for support.
We’d like to thank this year’s event major sponsor Jacobus Energy.

About Connor’s Erg

Connor was determined to study and row, until brain cancer robbed him of the chance. Connor applied to Wisconsin and Stanford Universities and was invited to attend Stanford summer school the day before his brain tumour surgery.

During Connor’s treatment, Craig Amerkhanian, coach of Stanford rowing, kept in touch with Connor’s mum Liz, offering support during a tough time for the Dawes family. For 16 months Connor’s brilliant mind and strong body gave its all to fight this terrible disease, but on April 20, 2013 Connor lost his battle. A matter of days later, the Robert Connor Dawes Foundation was born. Since then the Dawes family have been on a mission to ensure no family has to endure what theirs did.

When Liz next spoke to Craig, he was determined to support the family and their foundation. When brainstorming fundraising ideas, they discovered Craig was good friends with Chris Clarke, coach of rowing at Wisconsin. Which just so happens to be Connor’s parent’s, Liz and Scott’s, alma mater.

And so, Connor’s Erg Challenge was born. Eight years on and over $400,000 has been raised for paediatric brain cancer.