New regional Gherang Area Managers Doug and Laurel McLennan have a long history with the Good Friday Appeal.
When their eldest son Matthew was almost 3 years old he was diagnosed with Leukemia. Immediately following the diagnosis, Matthew was sent to The Royal Children’s Hospital where he received treatment and care for two months.
Sadly, after almost two years of back and forth to the Hospital, Matthew lost his battle with Leukemia in March 1975, at the age of 4 years and 8 months.
The couple’s youngest son Hayden also spent time at The Royal Children’s Hospital as he suffered severe asthma attacks.
The legacy of both Matthew, and the years the whole family spent with the hospital, is reflected in the couple’s support of the Good Friday Appeal.
To give back, they began a simple Good Friday Marnoo community BBQ fundraiser at their farm with the couple providing the meat and attending locals providing salads and desserts.
“The whole community turned out and it became a regular event each year for 15 years”, says Doug remembering the impact of their fundraisers.
Doug notes typical attendance being between 100 to 140, raising well over $1,000 for the Marnoo tally annually. For this incredible effort, the couple received the Honorary Life Governor award in August 1981.
Doug and Laurel have now retired to Gherang where they have built a new home and brought an on-farm art gallery to life. On their new property, the couple has welcomed a fold of Scottish Highland cattle with Shrek, their Highland Bull, a popular star amongst visitors.
They have continued to be involved in their local community and Doug reflects, “nearly everyone we meet has had some sort of connection with the hospital.”
Jac Fletcher, Good Friday Appeal Fundraising Manager said “We are incredibly excited to have Doug and Laurel join the Good Friday Appeal Regional Area Managers team. They are wonderful supporters of the Appeal and we are thankful to have them as part of the wonderful Gherang community”.