$50,000 raised by New Zealand Lions

by Lin Ferguson

Hunterville_NewZealand Lions ClubIn a combined pledge, the Hunterville, Marton and Bulls Lions Clubs have raised $50,000 for a room at the new Ronald McDonald House being built opposite Wellington Hospital.

Hunterville Lions Club president Bernie Hughes said the three clubs in the Rangitikei region decided two years ago to make the pledge and raise $50,000.

“It is a very special cause, and we really wanted to get stuck in,” he said

The three clubs hope the name of the new room will be the Rangitikei Room.

Each club had held a major event to raise the money.

In early March, the Hunterville club held a 4WD rally across all the big sheep stations along the Napier-Taupo Rd.

“It was unbelievably successful. We completely sold out and could have easily sold dozens more tickets. Every station manager and farmer signed up … we were so well supported, it was just amazing,” Mr Hughes said.

The new, bigger, Ronald McDonald House will be able to house 34 families whereas the old house could only take 12 families.

The new house has cost the Ronald McDonald Trust more than $15 million and the call went out from the Wellington Trust for donations and pledges more than two years ago.

Ronald McDonald House is a “home-away-from-home” for families of children receiving medical treatment in Wellington.

The idea is that children respond better to treatment when their families are close.

The trust wanted to build a bigger house so it could accommodate a growing number of families and ensure it never had to turn anyone away.

They bought the land next to the existing house, just a short walk from Wellington Hospital.

The Ronald McDonald House Wellington Trust had pushed the green light for the project to start before they had secured the full funding, because they knew having the building under way was the best way to show they were serious about the new house.