Big help for lil’ mir­a­cles

Ro­tary give back thanks to opera day

Stanthorpe Border Post - - NEWS - Matthew Pur­cell Matthew.Pur­cell@bor­der­post.com.au

THE Opera in the Vine­yard event brings plenty in the way of tourism to our re­gion but just as im­por­tantly, it’s bring­ing sup­port to some ‘lit­tle mir­a­cles’.

While plan­ning has started for Opera in the Vine­yard 2018, the final money has been dis­trib­uted from Opera 2017 to a char­ity with a spe­cial con­nec­tion to the event and Stan­thorpe Ro­tary.

“Opera in the Vine­yard has sup­ported many Queens­land char­i­ties over the years and the Mater Lit­tle Mir­a­cles has a spe­cial place in our hearts,” Ro­tar­ian Leeanne Gangemi said.

“It’s a char­ity we have sup­ported over the years as we have had per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence with the won­der­ful doc­tors and nurses at the neona­tol­ogy unit.

“Some of the very first Opera events were sup­port­ing the Mater and we have con­tin­ued to sup­port them over the years,” she said.

The char­ity was pre­sented with a cheque for $10,000 by Ro­tar­i­ans Don Gaske and Leeanne, as well as Mary Puglisi from Bal­lan­dean Es­tate Wines where the event is hosted.

“The $10,000 will be used to as­sist in fund­ing a re­search project that will help the med­i­cal teams to learn bet­ter ways of re­sus­ci­tat­ing pre­m­mie ba­bies,” Leeanne said.

For Leeanne, it’s also been a spe­cial op­por­tu­nity to give back to a char­ity that once sup­ported her in a time of need.

“I have per­son­ally had ex­pe­ri­ence with the Mater when my son was born 16 weeks early, 25 years ago.

“We were at the hospi­tal for about five and a half months and ex­pe­ri­enced first hand the amaz­ing work that they do.”

Since the event’s in­cep­tion 25-years-ago, Ro­tary has been able to raise a sub­stan­tial amount of funds for lo­cal and state-wide char­i­ties.

“I couldn’t tell you how much ex­actly but prob­a­bly about $50,000,” Leeanne said.

PHOTO: FILE

HELP­ING HANDS: Dianne Head­ing, Fran Hodg­son and Gail Bax­ter from Ro­tary at the 2017 Opera in the Vine­yard.

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