Nelson Lionesses help sick kids

MATT LAWREY
Last updated 14:40 08/11/2012
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MISSION ACCOMPLISHED: Lionesses Jillian Jary, left, and Jan Wood, with Rex Bullard from the Silverstream Lions Club, cut the ribbon to launch a new room at Ronald McDonald House in Wellington.

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The Lioness Club of Nelson is celebrating making a difference in the lives of sick children and their families after raising $25,000 to pay for a room at the new Ronald McDonald House in Wellington,

The new $15.3 million 34-bedroom development is a home away from home for families with seriously ill children at Wellington Hospital.

The room paid for by the the Lioness Club of Nelson is a quiet place for mothers to express milk, complete with a comfy chair draped with a colourful quilt made by past club president Jillian Jary, breastpumps, a fridge and sterilising dishes.

The Nelson club was approached about the idea by the Silverstream Lions Club, because many Nelson families stay at Wellington’s Ronald McDonald House.

The 29 members enthusiastically took up the cause and over the past two years have thrown themselves into raising the money through a wide range of events and activities, including a wine and cheese evening, Christmas and spring-themed fetes, a fashion parade, games for kids at Tahuna Beach Holiday Park, making and selling more than 24,000 truffles, jam making, a sausage sizzle at Founders Park Book fair, and two catering jobs.

Jillian, who was president when the fundraising effort kicked off, said the challenge re-energised members and was a lot of hard work, fun and laughter.

Last Wednesday she and fellow Nelson Lioness Jan Wood travelled to Wellington to present a cheque for $25,000 to Ronald McDonald House and cut the ribbon to the room the club has made possible.

‘‘It was a wonderful feeling,’’ Jillian said.

Jan said they were both hugely impressed by the whole house.

‘‘They made us feel very welcome,’’ she said.

‘‘It just has the warmest feeling.’’

Jan said they liked to think that in the years ahead Nelson people will use the expressing room, notice a sign saying it was funded by the Nelson Lioness Club, and feel good.

‘‘It’ll feel like someone from home was thinking of you,’’ she said.

‘‘I’m just so proud to be part of that facility and to know that Nelson people will see that sign and know we did it – and it’s not just Nelson people, it’s everyone who uses it,’’ Jillian said.

The room is on the third floor of the house, a level funded by Lions and Lioness clubs known as ’’The Lions’ Den’’.

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