Stewart and Narelle Bishop, Merewyn Janson and Sarah Knopke get together at the Orion hotel and raise money for charity with Philanthropub Fridays.
Stewart and Narelle Bishop, Merewyn Janson and Sarah Knopke get together at the Orion hotel and raise money for charity with Philanthropub Fridays. Rob Williams

Cheers to charity, mates drink up each month to raise cash

IT'S NO joke, a group of seven ex-soccer players and their partners walk into a bar every month.

The group decided they needed a good excuse to keep drinking together after the men stopped playing soccer and came up with Philanthropub Fridays.

Each month they pay $5 to get happy hour drink prices at the Orion Hotel and raise money for charities.

Orion Hotel Manager Sarah Knopke said her husband had played soccer with the group for at least 10 years.

When five of them retired in October last year their partners, who had been drinking together and watching them on field each Friday night for 10 years, wanted to keep hanging out so they decided they would get together on the first Friday of every month.

"The girls would all have a drink and watch from the sidelines, it was our weekly catch up,” Mrs Knopke said.

Merewyn Janson said every now and then they would "glance at the field”.

"It's something we all look forward to, an excuse to get together and give back. It's a great way to connect with people and help the community,” Mrs Janson said.

"It's an excuse to keep drinking but we've all matured and decided we should be giving back to the community,” Mrs Knopke said.

The group also raffles meat trays during the night to raise money.

So far they've given money to Demntia Australia, Pawprints K9 Rescue and Ipswich Hospice.

Last month they were able to donate just over $1200 to the Endeavour Rally.

Each of the charities have been connected to the group in one way or another.

"Each time more and more money is raised,” one of the ex-footballers Stewart Bishop said.

"We have a great time,” his wife Narelle Bishop added. "It's just lots of fun.”

Next month the group will raise money to help end violence against women and will wear purple aprons.

People of all ages can join in the fun, more people means more money for charity.

"Our kids are young adults and they join in,” Mrs Knopke said.

"We'd like it to become a monthly community event.”

The $5 entry fee gets you happy hour prices from 6pm to 8pm.

Philantropub Fridays has it's own Facebook page.