BRETT Edwards’ concerns about losing the family home after the death of his wife last month have been alleviated, thanks to the overwhelming generosity of the Ballarat community.
More than 500 people –some of them strangers to Mr Edwards – attended a special event on Friday night to help raise funds for the Ballarat father of four, whose wife Angie died last month following a short battle with cancer.
In just a few hours, the auction raised a staggering $102,000 for the Edwards family.
Angie Edwards (nee Clifford) died on February 6, aged just 31. Her death – only a few months after her diagnosis – left her husband of eight years to raise their four small children, ranging in age from a few months to seven years.
From her hospital bed, Mrs Edwards voiced her concerns about how her death would financially impact her husband.
She hoped he and their children – Brodie, Jameson, Chelsea and baby Tristan – would be able to remain in the Brown Hill house they finished building only a year ago and that her children would all have the opportunity for a good education.
While Mr Edwards’ employer, MaxiTRANS, encouraged him to take as much leave as he needed and assured him of job security, there was still a concern about losing the house he and his wife had saved to build.
Shortly after the diagnosis of a rare and aggressive form of cervical cancer late last year, Mrs Edwards’ friends began organising the fundraiser in the hopes Mr Edwards and the children could remain in the family home.
Auction items for Friday night’s fundraiser at the Ballarat Greyhound Track included jewellery, holidays and signed football jumpers.
All items were generously donated by businesses in the Ballarat community.
One of the event organisers, Kelly Wakeling, said the Edwards family was overwhelmed by the outpouring of support.
“Brett was rapt with the turn-out ... we were all just amazed,” Ms Wakeling said.
“We wanted it to be a fun night for all ... a chance to remember Angie and the amazingly strong woman she was.”
A NAB bank account has also been set up for the Edwards family.
Anyone who wants to make a donation can go into an NAB branch and quote
BSB: 083 532 account number: 397 507 917.