Bedgerabong's community spirit shines with $8000 raised for Ronald McDonald House

Bedgerabong Public School students with Chris and Maryanne Harrison from McDonalds Forbes, Prue Hain and Murray Brown from Bedgerabong P and C, and Robert's big sisters Georgia and Ella (on left).
Bedgerabong Public School students with Chris and Maryanne Harrison from McDonalds Forbes, Prue Hain and Murray Brown from Bedgerabong P and C, and Robert's big sisters Georgia and Ella (on left).

The community of Bedgerabong has raised an incredible $8000 for Ronald McDonald House in honour of a local family.

Bedgerabong School's P and C stepped up last year when one of their own, three-year-old Robert, was taken to Westmead for treatment for leukaemia.

Robert's older sisters, Georgia and Ella, attend the school and they organised a fun day for their peers that raised an incredible $300.

As soon as it looked like the community would be able to gather, the P and C sought the support of the generous local business community for a fundraiser auction as well as their annual Christmas raffle.

P and C president Murray Brown and treasurer Prue Hain said the community was very supportive and very generous.

They thank Forbes Livestock, Kevin Miller Whitty Lennon and Co, Forbes Machinery, Bernardi's, Agriwest, Hutcheon and Pearce, Walkers AgnVet, Earney's Earthmoving and Brad Pellow Kelpies.

They've also extended a big thank you to the community who supported the cause at the community Christmas party.

Ronald McDonald House Charities says this is wonderful help - equivalent to the cost of providing 50 nights' accommodation for a family.

The Ronald McDonald House is home to the families of seriously ill and injured children being treated at nearby hospitals. The Houses keep families close by giving parents and siblings the opportunity to stay together to support their sick loved ones.

Robert's mum Rebecca says it really is 'home away from home', although some of the activities have been dramatically impacted by COVID-19 restrictions.

Robert Pengilly with his mum Rebecca and sisters all together at Ronald McDonald House in Sydney. Photo supplied.

Robert Pengilly with his mum Rebecca and sisters all together at Ronald McDonald House in Sydney. Photo supplied.

"We are extremely grateful for the ability to have somewhere close to the hospital when everything is in chaos, a place the girls can come," she said.

"The staff are beautiful and go out of their way to ensure the kids are safe and the families are functioning to the best of their ability."

The Pengillys have also been very aware of the amazing support of the rural community as they need to be with Robert but also to care for their two girls.

"We're very grateful to everyone in this community and the school community for taking such good care of the girls," Rebecca said.