$115,000 double delight for Peter's Project

WITH $115,000 donated to Peter’s Project in two days, director Vicki Jellie is clearly a woman it’s difficult to say no to.

Southern Grampians Shire will provide $90,000 and GMHBA health insurance has given $25,000 to the Target $5 million campaign.

The council voted on Wednesday night to make the donation for the cancer centre, which mayor Albert Calvano said was a priority for the region.

Cr Calvano said the Peter’s Project team briefed councillors last month and asked for a contribution to the centre.

“Speaking from personal experience, I know how difficult it can be to be told you need to travel to Melbourne, Geelong or Ballarat to get treatment,” he said.

“About 40 per cent of the Southern Grampians Shire population is aged over 50, so getting better health services is essential for our area.

“Our staff at Western District Health Service do a fantastic job in diagnosing and caring for people and this facility will mean residents will be able to get radiotherapy treatment closer to their families and friends, without the stress of having to travel long distances.”

Yesterday GMHBA CEO Mark Valena told The Standard it was a pleasure to be part of Peter’s Project.

“Vicki is impossible to say no to,” he said.

Mr Valena said staff in the Warrnambool, Portland and Hamilton areas knew first-hand how disadvantaged local families had been over the years, travelling long distances to Geelong and Melbourne to receive critical cancer treatment.

He said there would be more money to come next year through the Murray to Moyne cycle ride.

GMHBA executive manager of marketing and former Cobden resident Matt Vagg said when they met with representatives from Peter’s Project, it was a sobering story.

“For me being originally a local, we’re very pleased to be involved,” he said.

He said the response from the community was unlike anything he’d seen in Australia.

Ms Jellie, Peter’s Project founder, said the donation showed the business was  putting its trust back into the community.

She said the fund-raiser had been something which had brought the community together.

The state government has committed $15 million and the federal government $10 million for the proposed cancer care centre.

Last week the community had raised close to $3.8 million of the $5 million appeal target.

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