How Wollongong shone bright for local children with disabilities

More than 270 people raised $140,000 for local children and families at the Disability Trust's Shine Bright Like a Diamond Gala Night at Wests Illawarra last Saturday.

The Disability Trust marketing and communications manager Mereana Gordon said it was a great night where the 278 people present raised an amazing amount of money.

Toby's story

The highlights include two fundraising goals being achieved for two teenagers with the Giving Wall.

"One was for a tandem bike for Toby Bell, of Woonona, and the other was for a beach wheelchair for Lachlan Benn, of Russell Vale.

Lachlan's story

"Those items are already in the process of being purchased for the families.

"The additional money that was also raised off that wall will go towards purchasing equipment for our vacation care and after school care programs. It will fund additional things like trampolines and swings, sensory toys and things like that.

"The remainder of the money raised on the night will go to Kids Fund for a number of projects presently being looked at by the committee".

20 Years of Kids Fund

Ms Gordon said being the 20th year of the annual fundraiser everyone was in the mood to celebrate Kids Fund and the event.

Previously known as Wests Illawarra Bandage Bear Benefit Night the annual ball has been held at the Unanderra club since 1999.

"There was a lovely presentation to some of our longer standing supporters," she said.

Long term supporters recognised.

Long term supporters recognised.

"Many of the businesses have been right there from the very start. Federal Member of Cunningham Sharon Bird and The Disability Trust chief executive Margaret Bowen presented them with a letter from Prime Minister Scott Morrison and a trophy for their outstanding commitment, dedication and support of Kids Fund.

The supporters recognised were Wests Illawarra, Wave FM, Coastwide, The Shellharbour Club, Danzo, K & R, Illawarra Toyota, IMB Banking, The Fraternity Club, Akele & Partners, Allmen Industrial and Leigh Stewart. Disability Trust executive manager Matthew Martin said "to hold an event like the gala night for 20 years takes some very special people".

"We have had some wonderful supporters over that time".

Gala night intro celebration 20 years

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This story Wollongong shines bright for children with disabilities first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.