House appeal launched

District backing: Rotary House chairman Andrew Suggett with Corangamite Shire mayor Matt Makin.

IMAGINE being called to Warrnambool in the dead of night because one of your children has been in a car accident.
You have been at the hospital for hours, are totally exhausted but have to front up again early the next morning to support your child.
It’s a scenario Rotary House Fundraising Committee chairman Dale Alexander said any Camperdown district resident could face.
“What do you do?  Drive all the way home in your exhausted state to sleep or stay in your car,” he said.
Neither, if the committee has its way, a brand new 12 room accommodation facility will be available straight across the road from the hospital.
Already dubbed Rotary House, the facility is a combined initiative of Warrnambool’s four Rotary Clubs and numerous fundraising committees set up across the region.
The Camperdown committee comprises Dale Alexander, Ruth Gstrein, Laurie Hickey, Barbara and Gerard Ryan and Rob Van den Eynde along with Warrnambool Rotary House representative Bob Coffey and officially launched the fundraising phase on Thursday night..
“We’ve teamed up with Warrnambool for this project, but it’s the people of Camperdown, Timboon, Cobden, Terang and the surrounding areas who will be using the facility,” Mr Alexander said.
Rotary House chairman Andrew Suggett said the accommodation facility had been in the pipeline since 2004.
“By 2005 Warrnambool’s four Rotary clubs had joined forces on the project and secured in-principal support from South West Healthcare,” he said.
“By mid 2009 we had secured a property located straight across the road from the hospital in Timor Street.”
The committee now has a funding goal of $1.4 million in order to build the new facility.
Mr Suggett said 29,500 acute patients were treated at the South West Healthcare Warrnambool and St John of God hospitals  last year alone.
“Almost 16,500 of those people came from outside Warrnambool – they are the people who will be using the facility, not Warrnambool people, and that’s why we need the support of the wider communities,” he said.
South West Healthcare chief executive officer John Krygger fully backed the initiative.
“In two months time the new buildings will be completed at the Warrnambool hospital and we’re expecting a huge spike in activity,” he said.
“Improved facilities tend to attract more specialists, which in turn means more patients are treated.
“And locating the facility within walking distance of the hospital is critical for its success.
“The house will be a huge asset in how we can look after our patients.”
Corangamite Shire Mayor Matt Makin officially launched the fundraising campaign with a $50 donation.
“These types of developments do not happen by chance, they happen with hard work and volunteers who stand up and make them happen,” he said.
“I’m confident this project will come to fruition, and come to fruition quickly.”
The first fundraising event scheduled for the cause is a Theatre Royal black tie ball featuring renowned Celtic rock performers ‘Claymore’.

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