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Building a home away from home

Ten years ago Silverstream Lion David Irving led a fundraiser at Wellington's Embassy Theatre around Sir Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy that raised $180,000 and included a contribution of $40,000 to Ronald McDonald House.

“I’m not quite sure what it is but there is an atmosphere of calmness, composure, serenity and necessity about the House that gets into your blood,” he said. “I’d challenge anyone to tour the House when fully operational and not come out with an overwhelming need to contribute. The House has been flowing in our bloodstream ever since.”

More recently a $10,000 commitment from Silverstream Lions for the new Ronald McDonald House became a pledge for $30,000 for a bedroom, which grew to $140,000 to develop a Lions Den and include the support of other contributing Lions Clubs.

The Silverstream team set out marketing the concept to more distant areas. Wellingtonians do not use the House as they have their own homes within easy driving distances. The main beneficiaries are families from Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne, Manawatu and Taranaki to Nelson and Marlborough in the south.

When it became clear the $140,000 would be achieved David, Rex Bullard and Roy Peterson asked what the next logical step would be and were offered a floor for $500,000. Already they have over-shot this new target by more than $225,000 and are now eyeing up an extension to their campaign to reach the magical $1 million mark.

Roy Peterson said the three Silverstream Club members had travelled 15,000 kilometres and spent more than 1100 hours supporting and promoting the Lions Den and during the visits had met amazing families around the regions.

He said Past District Governor Joy Tutty launched the initial support from a Zone meeting attended by more than 150 Lions and from the feedback the trio realised they were onto something special.

“The ground-breaking day certainly brought great kudos to the Lions Club of Silverstream," Roy said. “Council Chairman Robin Nairn was the perfect MC for the event, and the weather certainly paid its part. It was quite an honour to have Jindalle Beeck, LCIF’s Humanitarian Programme Co-ordinator for Asia, Southeast Asia and Oceania, present. Jindalle presented a cheque from LCIF for $US75,000 and the Lloyd Morgan Lions Clubs Charitable Trust has pledged $60,000 for a suite named in their honour.

“Also adding to the day was the presence of Hon Peter Dunne, Revenue Minister. The support from Clubs for the event was overwhelming – Taranaki, Hawkes Bay, Manawatu, Horowhenua and Nelson were all represented, and the project and the house will have received some wonderful publicity.”


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