A FUND-raising idea that started over a few beers at a pub has raised almost $40,000 and helped secure a new bus for the Murray Valley Centre in Wodonga.
The centre yesterday welcomed the 21-seater bus, fitted with handrails a wheelchair, to drive adult clients with disabilities to and from the centre and activities.
Baranduda cyclist Scott Fraser was one of the campaign leaders.
He rode his bike from Sydney to Yackandandah in February to raise awareness and money.
It was in honour of family friend Bob Russell, who had Down syndrome and died in 2010, aged 54.
“This place kept him going and we wanted to give something back,” Mr Fraser said.
Peter Russell, Bob’s brother, was overwhelmed by the community’s support that included a charity ball, auction and raffle
Centre chief executive David Martin thanked Mr Fraser, the Russell family and Seeley International for making the bus a reality.
“Seeley International was a major sponsor, contributing $10,000 towards the cause,” Mr Martin said.
The remaining funds for the $90,000 bus came from the centre’s operating costs.
Further donations can be made to the Murray Valley Centre.