Tony Moroney’s heart may be the only place he doesn’t have a tattoo, but its positive impact is just as permanent.
The 50-year-old Australian, who is almost entirely covered in tattoos, has raised $100,000 for a children’s health charity, Yahoo7 reported. Moroney, who goes by the nickname “Top Hat Tony,” used his eccentric appearance to help attract enough donors to reach his goal earlier this month.
Moroney began his mission in 2010, when he met a 4-year-old who had already undergone multiple open-heart surgeries. “This kid had hardly had a chance at life and it was nearly snatched away from him,” Moroney told Yahoo7. “I had to do something for him.”
A BIG CONGRATULATIONS to our dear friend Top Hat Tony who has just reached his fundraising goal of $100,000 for...
So, in addition to an Everyday Hero campaign, Moroney took to the streets in various areas of Queensland without a shirt and with a can in hand, asking for support. Using the attention from his colorful appearance to help attract donors, Moroney gathered more than $20,000 in less than a year for HeartKids, a charity for children with heart disease, Caboolture News reported.
"When I first saw him I thought, 'Oh my God.' He was covered in tattoos, had his shirt off and all these piercings," Amy Roche, who works at a local store that also supports HeartKids, told the news outlet. "He doesn't look like the typical charity worker, he's a bit rough around the edges, but he's very enthusiastic."
Unfortunately, just months into his initiative, Moroney developed heart problems of his own, experiencing “nine minor attacks and two big ones,” he told Yahoo7. Moroney’s wife, Annie, has also experienced medical issues and the couple has lived off a pension since 2002, according to the news outlet.
But Top Hat Tony persevered and continued to be relentless in his goal over the past five years, right up until July 6 when he reached $100,000, as shown on his Everyday Hero page.
“I’ve had some wicked highs and a few gut-wrenching lows but today I had the greatest high of them all,” Moroney wrote about meeting his goal.
On Thursday, Moroney is being honored with a special tea by HeartKids, the group wrote on its Facebook page, to recognize his tremendous achievement.