Johns: Huge year for foun­da­tion

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News -

Long-time Horsham and re­gional ad­vo­cate Don Johns has de­scribed the 28th year of Wim­mera Health Care Group Foun­da­tion as one of the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s most pro­found 12 months of oper­a­tion.

Mr Johns, who has been foun­da­tion chair­man for ev­ery year of its ex­is­tence, said con­struc­tion of a $3.5-mil­lion Wim­mera Can­cer Cen­tre in Horsham, sched­uled to be fin­ished by the end of this year, rep­re­sented a com­bi­na­tion of com­mu­nity com­mit­ment and strate­gic di­rec­tion.

He said on his re­turn to the chair­man’s po­si­tion that get­ting the can­cer cen­tre from an idea to re­al­ity was Horsham’s great­est project and the foun­da­tion was de­lighted to be at the coal­face.

“The foun­da­tion has done a bril­liant job in the last few years. We are ab­so­lutely de­lighted the can­cer cen­tre is on its way and will hope­fully be built by the end of the year,” he said.

“The re­ac­tion from the gen­eral pub­lic to the ap­peal has sim­ply been out­stand­ing. We are de­lighted and proud.”

The cen­tre was the brain­child of the foun­da­tion as a way to im­prove Wim­mera can­cer­sup­port ser­vices.

The new cen­tre will in­cor­po­rate on­col­ogy, dial­y­sis and com­mu­nity pal­lia­tive-care ser­vices.

Wim­mera Health Care Group pro­vides on­col­ogy ser­vices but de­mand for can­cer ser­vices has steadily grown dur­ing the past decade, high­light­ing a need to dra­mat­i­cally im­prove in­fras­truc­ture and fa­cil­i­ties.

The Wim­mera com­mu­nity has raised more than $1-mil­lion through a Rachael’s Wish Ap­peal to match fed­eral and state govern­ment fund­ing.

The com­mu­nity fig­ure, still grow­ing, is now $1,163,449.

The health-group foun­da­tion, which only uses in­ter­est from all cap­i­tal it gen­er­ates to fund projects, hopes to have an in­vest­ment pool of $2-mil­lion by 2020. It al­ready has well over $1-mil­lion.

The or­gan­i­sa­tion’s strong po­si­tion has led to it in­creas­ing its five-year an­nual con­tri­bu­tion this fi­nan­cial year for the can­cer cen­tre from $50,000 to $75,000.

This year’s con­tri­bu­tion brings the foun­da­tion’s over­all cen­tre fund­ing so far to $210,000 – on track to eas­ily sur­pass a min­i­mum over­all com­mit­ment of $250,000.

Mr Johns stressed ev­ery­one who had sup­ported and con­tin­ued to sup­port the foun­da­tion and the can­cer cen­tre project needed to be thanked.

“The amount of com­mu­nity spirit and sup­port has sim­ply been mind-bog­gling,” he said.

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