Our great effort
A FINAL wrap-up of the Ballina Shire Our House appeal was held at the Ballina RSL Club this week, and it seems the committee still can't quite believe its success.
With a grand total - so far - of $192,400, the appeal almost doubled its original target of raising $100,000 in just 12 months.
Chairman Col Lee said the appeal started to gain momentum after a $50,000 donation from the Ballina RSL.
"It really gave the appeal credibility," he said.
"This is such a vital project. I have been amazed by the generosity of the people in the Ballina Shire."
Our House is a motel-style facility currently being built across the road from Lismore Base Hospital.
It will provide low-cost accommodation for families of patients in the hospital's cancer and children's wards.
Fundraising co-ordinator Rebekka Battista this week said four of the units would be named in honour of the Ballina Shire appeal.
She shared the plans for the building and encouraged Ballina Shire residents to drive past and have a look.
"I have been in fundraising for eight years and I have never seen anything like this before," she said.
"The foundations of your part of the facility are being built now.
"We are expecting Our House to be finished in July, with a public opening in August."
Chairman of Our House, Dr Chris Ingall, was also at this week's event in Ballina, and he thanked the community for its ongoing support.
He said Mr Lee had "crystallised and galvanised" that support into a "hard-working tool".
"Everyone has been very energetic and we are grateful for every dollar," he said.
"Our dream started in 2004, but your energy and passion has kept us going.
"Your money will be carefully spent and stewarded.
"We want Our House to be a place where people come and say, 'this is like home'."