HEALTHY Community Fund members Brian Riley (left), Ballina Bowls and Recreation club chairman, Ballina RSL sub-branch president
HEALTHY Community Fund members Brian Riley (left), Ballina Bowls and Recreation club chairman, Ballina RSL sub-branch president

Ballina hits X-ray equipment target

By MARY MANN

BOB GRANT wants to give the Ballina community a mighty big pat on the back after it raised a massive $150,000 for the Ballina Shire Healthy Community Futures Fund.

The fund needed to raise the tidy sum to buy digital X-ray equipment for Ballina District Hospital, with the help of a $150,000 funding commitment from the North Coast Area Health Service.

It was a donation of $8850 raised by a Ballina Scope Club raffle that brought the fund to a total of nearly $156,000.

The Northern Star is an official media sponsor of the fund. Mr Grant, spokesperson for the fund and chairman of the Ballina RSL Club, said the effort to reach the target within six months was 'absolutely amazing'.

"The support has been overwhelming," he said.

"It really has been a fantastic community effort. The committee was surprised and delighted with the influx of donations that came in a rush during the past week or so."

Ballina mayor Phillip Silver, one of the fund committee members, said he was extremely proud of the people of Ballina Shire.

"They have shown strength in their ability to come together as a community for a project that will benefit everybody," Cr Silver said.

The Ballina Shire Healthy Community Futures Fund was launched last December with donations from the Ballina RSL Club, the Ballina RSL Sub-branch, the Ballina Bowling and Recreation Club and the Ballina Shire Council.

Mr Grant conceded he had felt depressed in January and early February with what then appeared to be a lack of interest in the fund and its goal of buying the equipment for Ballina District Hospital.

But the donations had 'come in with a bang' over the past months, he said.

Mr Grant thanked everyone in the community for their support, from corporations and service clubs to the individuals who donated large amounts, and the mums and dads who also chipped in.

He said the committee would meet to discuss the ongoing operation of the fund and future composition of the committee, as well as use of surplus funds.

Mr Grant said the committee still had to get an exact costing for the computerised radiography equipment, and he hoped any surplus would be spent on other equipment in the radiology department at the hospital.



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