Community rallies behind young cerebral palsy family

The Coolum community of trades and the Coolum Lions have provided much needed support for the Cunningham family by helping with the build of a self contained unit under their Coolum home which will house their disabled daughter Allyce. The purpose built safe haven will ensure that Allyce, who will need full time and continuous support for the rest of her life as a result of her cerebral palsy and intellectual disability is looked after. Pictured are Greg Jackson (Coolum Lions), Don Knopke (Coolum Lions), Fiona Moseley (Support Coordinator), David Watts (Lions District Governor, 201-Q4), Allyce Cunningham, Rob Snels (Coolum Lions President), Linda Cunningham, Debbie McLeon (Coolum Lion), Vince D’Abaco (Project Manager), Rex Cunningham and Doug Alford (Coolum Lions). Story continued page  Photo: Contributed

A short fall in NDIS funding meant that the Cunningham family simply did not have the resources to fund the $132,000 build, however the Coolum community in true giving style stepped up and came to the aid of the family. Vince D’Abaco a retired builder who also has a passion for helping others took up the challenge with gusto, helping to raise funds, organising contractors and suppliers as well as managing the volunteers during the construction.

When the Coolum Lions heard about the project they immediately donated $2,000 towards the project and Lion Don Knopke took a leading role in helping with the construction and many other Coolum Lions also assisted with construction.  Lion Don Knopke applied to the Lions District 201-Q4 Sight, Health and Wellness fund and received approval within 48 hours for an additional $5,000 towards the project.

Numerous other organisations donated money, supplies and tradies and volunteers donated their labour to help to make this project a reality. The project commenced in mid March of this year and is anticipated to be completed mid June 2021.

Rex and Linda Cunningham have been overwhelmed by the generosity and support of locals and so grateful to all involved.  With this community support, the actual cost for the project was substantially less than the original quote of $132,000.

Those involved would like to publicly thank the following trades and services for their help-

*Rick Hatherall Electrical – provided free labour to install and rewire the unit.

*Rally for a Cause/Dunga Derby – provided funds to pay for the kitchen and bench tops.

*Cranbourne Premix – supplied all of the concrete at no cost (Boral concrete gave a special discount to them to allow for this).

*Carpet Call – supplied the flooring at cost price.

*The major stakeholder, who wishes to remain anonymous, donated substantial funds to get the project up and running.

*Coolum Lions who have been involved in supporting the local community for over 40 years. If you would like to be a part of the team, please call Lion Don Knopke on 0427 061466

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