Barbecue breakfast surpasses expectations

Barbecue breakfast surpasses expectations

Showing their true community spirit, Tim and Barb Sayer surpassed their own expectations on Sunday when they once again opened their Newmerella home for a breakfast to raise much needed funds for Ronald McDonald House (RMH), Parkville, tipping the scales at well over $13,000.

Room 15A at the RMH Parkville was adopted by the Orbost community at the instigation of Tim and Barb and their annual breakfast.

Though numbers were down on previous years, the 50 guests welcomed by the Sayers on the weekend were still able to open their wallets and their hearts to give generously to help raise a staggering $13,320.

The couple had already topped last year’s record of $10,250, the funds raised at the breakfast the icing on the cake for a new record.

This is the couple’s seventh year hosting the event following their move to Newmerella. They lived previously in the Yarra Valley where their fundraising breakfasts all began some 18 years ago. Tim had built a barbecue on wheels and breakfast gatherings with friends around the barbecue quickly became regular occurrences.

Tim and Barb realised it was costing them too much money to have all their friends over for breakfast, so Tim said to Barb, “we’ll charge them”, her swift reply being “you cannot charge friends”. Tim went on to say, “you can if it’s for charity”.

At the beginning, money raised from their breakfasts went to The Royal Children’s Hospital where a lot of families in the region had used the hospital. The figures raised now by the annual event are far from those raised in the beginning.

Their first breakfast made just $50, more than the cost of the meal. With the amount of effort put in to organise it, Tim and Barb almost considered running no more. However support from the community pushed them on - they needed to do another year, only smarter.

When they moved to Newmerella they soon realised that the need was to support rural families – Ronald McDonald House certainly does that.

Over the past seven years the couple has raised more than $56,000 for the charity.

“Our community is just wonderful,” Barb said.

“We have to thank the guests, our retailers and the Orbost community.”

Other generous locals, Tony Fecondo and his team at Orbost Tyre Service, had also been holding their raffle in the lead up to this year’s breakfast, just as they have with previous events. A set of Cooper Tyres had been donated to the value of $1800, with more than $2650 raised through their raffle. They also sold Christmas trees with $5 from every tree sold donated to the cause.

Orbost Commonwealth Bank manager, Kerry Oatley, also arranged for a Michael Hussey plaque to be raffled, which fetched more than $500 on the day.

Elaine Robertson also had her baked goods on offer, joining other stalls at the barbecue on Sunday.

Fun had at previous breakfasts saw Tim’s trivia return to test the minds.

Items such as weekends away in Lakes Entrance, the Yarra Valley or Bemm River went under the hammer as well as loads of wood, tools, gardening packages and vouchers. Glenda Hackett was the winner of the lucky door prize for the second year running.

Cooking items were on loan from the Marlo Hotel as well as rustling up some further food donations.

Ronald McDonald House Charities Community Partnership manager, Annalese Fowler, attended the breakfast for her second year and expressed the appreciation the organisation has for Tim, Barb and the Orbost community.

“Tim and Barb Sayer have been stalwarts for many years, hosting this event collectively raising enough money to adopt a room at our Parkville House, Room 15A,” she said.

“The generosity of this community helps us keep our doors open to families with seriously ill children. From the families who call our houses home, thank you for helping us to help them.

“Our mission is to create, find and support programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children and their families. A world where all children have access to medical care, and their families are supported and actively involved in their children’s care.

“It costs Ronald McDonald House Charities $160 per night to provide a home-away-from home per family. We receive no government funding for this essential service and families can make an optional ‘donation’ towards accommodation. So we rely solely on our generous supporters like this wonderful community.

“We thank you, Tim and Barb, their friends and wider Orbost community for all your generous and amazing support.”

Local Marlo resident, Conni Greenwood, spoke of the journey her family had been on since her son, Victor, was flown to Melbourne suddenly due to swelling in his brain.

She spoke of the 13 hours of surgery to remove his tumour and the long road to recovery that has seen the family stay at Ronald McDonald House, where they have seen first hand how welcoming those at the house were in a time of need, not only for Conni but also for her parents, Rob and Leah, who were offered beds too.

Addressing Tim and Barb, Conni said, “You don’t have children, but I think that speaks volumes of your hearts”.

Victor was at the breakfast with his mum and was thrilled to receive a giant plush Dulux dog, which guests purchased for him.

PICTURED: Conni and Victor Greenwood with Tim and Barb Sayer and the Dulux dog at the record breaking fundraising breakfast hosted by the Sayers at the Newmerella property for the seventh year. The breakfast surpassed the couple’s fundraising expectations, raising well over $13,000 for Ronald McDonald House, Parkville.