A proud moment Community involvement ‘overwhelming

WELL DONE: Members of the Ballina Shire Our House fundraising committee, with Dr Chris Ingall, Our House committee chairman (far left), in front of the nearly finished Our House building.
WELL DONE: Members of the Ballina Shire Our House fundraising committee, with Dr Chris Ingall, Our House committee chairman (far left), in front of the nearly finished Our House building. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

MEMBERS of the Ballina Shire Our House Committee have now completed one of their last and most rewarding duties - the handover of a cheque for almost $200,000.

The committee was formed in December last year with the aim of raising $100,000 to help build Our House.

It was made up of two representatives of each service club in the shire and was set up by the Ballina-on-Richmond Rotary Club.

Our House will be a 20-unit accommodation facility for regional cancer patients, children and families being treated at Lismore Base Hospital.

Chairman of the Ballina Shire Our House Committee, Col Lee, said they believed Ballina would benefit from the facility.

"We felt that Ballina, as the largest centre in the northern region, should set an example to other communities," he said.

An application by the committee to Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation resulted in a grant of $101,000 to be used for building the outdoor barbecue area, playground and therapy gardens.

Grants and donations were received from corporate bodies, including the Ballina RSL, which gave the largest single donation of $50,000.

Assistance came also from community groups, businesses and individuals.

"We were overwhelmed by the unprecedented level of community involvement, unity and generosity throughout the year," Mr Lee said.

Our House director Rebekka Battista said the Ballina Shire should be "really proud of their extraordinary effort".

"In honour of their amazing effort a wing of four units at Our House will be named in recognition of aspects of Ballina Shire, and those who need to use the facility will have a continuing reminder that Ballina really cares," she said.

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