Benalla Ensign

Strong Will to hit the road

- By Simon Ruppert

Back in February when The Ensign met with Will Moore at Benalla Toyota he was $21,000 short in his fundraisin­g efforts to purchase a life-changing wheelchair-accessible van.

Thanks to his hard work and the dedication, and the tireless efforts of his family and support workers, he was able to pick up the keys on Wednesday, April 20.

Sadly, since that day in February Will’s mother Sally has passed away.

It was a bitterswee­t occasion for Will and his step-father, Peter Martin, who said they were going to give the van a personalis­ed numberplat­e, Sal 57, in her honour.

“I'd just like to thank everybody that has donated to help us get to this point. Thank you,” Mr Martin said.

“A lot of people donated at Sal’s funeral. We asked that they give a donation in lieu of flowers.

“More than $15,000 came out of that. And it was the Wangaratta Lions Club that got us over the line.”

The van is due to go down to Melbourne this week to be fitted out with its wheelchair-accessible features.

“And we’d like to thank NDIS for getting that sorted out,” Mr Martin said.

Ardour Wellness’ Monique Gibson has played a big role in the fundraisin­g efforts.

She said the positive change the van would make to Will’s life was immeasurab­le.

“This is a whole new lease on life for Will,” Ms Gibson said.

“Now he can just go where he wants when he wants. He doesn't have to rely on taxis.

“He's got a holiday booked in July for the Blues Festival in Echuca.

“He can go to markets now. He wants to sell his cookbook at the local market’s, which he can do.”

One of the ways Will helped fund the van was by writing two cookbooks, which can be purchased via www.moorefoods.

And he is in the process of preparing his third.

Will could not keep the smile off his face after collecting the keys.

“I’m very excited,” Will said. “This is brilliant, just brilliant. Thank you Toyota.”

Benalla Toyota sales manager Glenn Shaw said he was pleased to help arrange the van.

“Being a part of this is fantastic,” Mr Shaw said.

What a feeling: Will Moore was delighted when Benalla Toyota’s Glenn Shaw handed him the keys to the new van, which will change his life. Also pictured are Monique Gibson (Ardour Wellness) Emma Hagg (Will’s support worker) and Peter Martin (Will’s stepfather).

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