Community support tops $500,000 for WRAD's residential rehabilitation appeal The Lookout

Warrnambool’s community fund-raising drive to help build a residential rehabilitation centre in the city has passed the half a million dollar mark.

The Lookout appeal now stands at $504,000 in just over nine weeks of fund-raising. WRAD director Geoff Soma said he could not be happier.

“It’s one of those things that you hope will happen, but it’s really passed all of our expectations to raise that amount of money so quickly, as well as the community support that it’s created” he said.

Mr Soma said the campaign had captured the hearts of many in the Warrnambool and district area.

“It’s one of those projects that Warrnambool has got behind,” he said.

“Warrnambool has got a history of showing that it cares through Peter’s Project and through a whole lot of different projects.”

The Lookout has a target of $605,000 for the community appeal, with WRAD committing $600,000 to help make the planned 20-bed treatment centre a reality.

Mr Soma said the strong community support would bolster the project’s case.

“We needed a strong message to go to the government and I think that’s come by way of the donations as well as the swell of support,” he said.

The committee has been in talks with the Department of Health and Human Services and Mr Soma said the next stage would involve continued lobbying, including of Western Victorian MP James Purcell, to help get the project over the line.

“We’re so encouraged by what we’ve managed to achieve so far and we hope that the government gets behind us and supports us as well,” he said.

On the fund-raising front, south-west Rotary clubs have got behind the appeal, with clubs in Warrnambool, Port Fairy and Portland offering their support.

The community can continue to support the appeal with 100 collection tins throughout Warrnambool, or by directly donating at the ANZ bank or through the WRAD website www.wrad.org.au