Last month, 13 Greek Australian women raised a staggering $101,179 at their high tea fundraiser event, which will go to paediatric palliative care services at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Adelaide.
“We are simply blown away by everyone’s generosity, and the willingness to contribute to our cause,” founding Golden Angels member Vicki Anton told Neos Kosmos.
“The idea of our committee was born after having my own parents in palliative care a few years back. I was informed about the Paediatric Palliative Care Unit atthe Women’s and Children’s Hospital.
“I was deeply moved, and decided to join forces with my dear friend Patti Gekas and together we tried to find ways to make those children’s lives a little more comfortable.
“We came up with the name Golden Angels because although we don’t get to meet all the children in person, we work in the background and watch over them, like angels do for us,” says Vicki whose family originates from the regions of Kastoria and Sparta.
Since 2014, the Golden Angels committee has held three events and the community’s response has been overwhelming so far.
“We held our first event in 2014 and we had 380 people attending. The second event saw 500 through the doors and in this year’s event we managed to get together with 700 people whose generosity blew us all away,” says Vicki who works as a personal assistant for the South Australian Parliamentary Speaker.
Vicki says the WCH Foundation recently purchased two adjacent blocks of land at Encounter Lakes and the founation’s plan is to consult with an architect, builders, hospital staff, and families to design a house that will meet the specific medical needs of children with a life-limiting or long-term illness and their families.
The idea is to build a loving, life-celebrating sanctuary at Encounter Lakes in Victor Harbour which will welcome families who are providing around-the-clock care for children suffering long term and life limiting illnesses.
“It will be a place of comfort, peacefulness, and practicality, so that each family can pack a simple suitcase and escape reality for a little while,” says Anton.
The Beach House will be fitted out with all the equipment and disability support tools and resources that the families will need as well as provide meals, access to activities, and medical help.
“We want to gently support families during their grief when their child has died by making the Beach House available for them to find a place for privacy and healing.
“All the money we collected recently will be allocated to the Beach House project. In addition, we have had a lot of members of our community offering to donate furnishings, linen, and amenities so that the house is ready to use sooner rather than later.
“Our one and only wish is to support those families, with the help and guidance of Virgin Mary, our patron, and encourage them to share special experiences with their children that will last a lifetime.”