Zoe and Stephen Neville have been overwhelmed by the Border community’s generosity in helping their little girl.
About $42,000 was donated to the family for a 24-hour drum-off Mr Neville recently performed outside Albury’s Blackline Music.
The money means they can now pay for a specially modified van they got in April to transport seven-year-old Ruthie, who has cerebral palsy.
Caring for Ruthie means the Thurgoona couple cannot work full-time, so loan repayments aren’t possible.
To make it all happen, Mr Neville’s parents stepped in and got the loan and the van was then modified at a cost of $35,000 through the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
The Nevilles, who also have a six-month-old boy, Art, would have been delighted to raise $10,000.
“For all of us as a little family unit and our extended family, the generosity just took our breath away,” Mrs Neville said.
Major donations included $2500 each from Bob Jane T-Marts in Albury and the Commercial Club, another benefactor provided $5000 and one anonymous donation of $1000 came in an envelope handed up to the stage. About $8000 went into donation tins.
“And then a little school friend of Ruthie watched Stephen play the drums,” Mrs Neville said.
“He got his wallet out and thought about it for a little while and then he put a couple of silver coins in. That to us is so special because no one told him to do that.”
The family paid special tribute to James Ross and the people at Blackline Music for organising everything from the stage to publicity, a council permit and food and drinks.
“I think Ruthie was just so blown away by the event itself and being able to go down the street and get out of her wheelchair,” Mrs Neville said.
“We could help her have a bit of a walk and a bit of a dance while Dad was playing the drums.
“I think she was just so proud of him.”
Mr Neville said it was “tricky” from 4am to 8am.
“I was really tired and feeling a bit sore in my shoulders. But what really helped me through that was there would have been at least 10 people there still from the local music community.”
Before they got the van, Mrs Neville said it was too hard to leave the house.
“For a kid like Ruthie who is so outgoing and loves to be around people it was just heartbreaking,” she said.
“Stephen is my hero. I was already head-over-heels in love with him before this happened and now I just have a new level of adoration and respect for him.
“I think he’s amazing.”