AFTER countless community fund-raisers, corporate donations and government pledges, Peter's Project has officially reached the $5 million target to bring a radiotherapy centre to the south-west.
Devondale Murray Goulburn's cash contribution of $300,000 announced on Thursday morning at the Lighthouse Theatre was the final major donation, before a $100 offering from cancer survivor Sue McMillan took the total over the line.
The $5,000,050 raised is enough to officially kickstart the Peter's Project Foundation, which will work to bring additional resources to the radiotherapy centre.
Supporters packed the Lighthouse Theatre foyer for the official announcement, enthusiastically applauding as the $5 million target was passed.
Premier Denis Napthine spoke with emotion as he recalled the scepticism from health department officials when he lobbied for funding last year.
Dr Napthine said while they had doubted the community's ability to raise the money required, he knew the south-west would pull together as it had.
Devondale Murray Goulburn managing director Gary Helou paid tribute to Peter's Project director and founder Vicki Jellie, whose determination to honour her husband’s memory has secured improved cancer care services for patients living in Warrnambool and surrounding areas.
“Our contribution to Peter’s Project reflects our commitment to this passionate and proud region,” Gary Helou said.
“Devondale Murray Goulburn is an integral part of the south-west community and like so many others, our company’s supplier-shareholders and employees have been touched by the tragic loss of loved ones, friends and colleagues to cancer.”
Mrs Jellie said the community had come together to achieve the target three months before it's one-year timeline.
"As Peter's Project Foundation we will continue to support the cancer centre when it's built," she said.
"What started off as a dream five years ago is real and it's going to happen."
Member for Wannon Dan Tehan said reaching the $5 million mark in just nine months showed the south-west community had come out in force to show its strong support for a cancer centre.
“This target has been reached three months earlier than expected which is such a wonderful achievement and really shows the commitment the local community has to Peter’s Project,” said Mr Tehan.
“From its inception it has been very clear that the community support behind Peter’s Project was incredible and I don’t think the cancer centre could have been achieved without it.
“This is yet another demonstration of what a local regional community can do if they are united in the cause to gain better services for local people and I’d like to congratulate everyone who has supported this campaign.
“From this day onward I also look forward to the continued support of the newly created Peter’s Project Foundation."