Donors praised for generosity

Georgina (15), Jeremy (11), Alexander and Renette Ashworth-Preece.
Georgina (15), Jeremy (11), Alexander and Renette Ashworth-Preece.

RMH Perth executive officer Alison Salmond said the generosity of the WA community, including businesses, government and individual philanthropists, was incredibly uplifting.

‘We are very proud of all the donors, community partners and the campaign volunteers who have made this project so successful,’ Ms Salmond said.

Stronger Together campaign chairman Peter Meurs said the capital campaign was just the beginning of the fundraising journey for the new RMH.

‘Once the house is built, it will accommodate up to 180 people each night or 1000 families per year, tripling the intake number of the current House,’ Mr Meurs said.

‘A larger house brings larger overhead and maintenance costs, so ongoing support is still as important as ever,’ he said.

Without the ‘city sanctuary’ of RMH, Jeremy Ashworth-Preece said his family would not have coped financially or emotionally while his son Alexander battled leukaemia.

‘If we had stayed at a motel or paid accommodation, we would have certainly been forced to sell our house,’ the Geraldton police sergeant said.

‘Having a home-away-from-home where we could focus on our child without worrying about work or money was an incredible gift.’

Alexander passed away aged 11 on March 12, 2012.

Mr Ashworth-Preece said that for his family’s sake, he worked hard to ensure his ‘outgoing, chatty and car-mad’ son was remembered in a positive way.

After starting a Northampton to Kalbarri charity bike ride in 2010, he said the first posthumous ride in December 2012 raised more than $30,000 for the campaign.