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MSWA Bulletin Magazine Autumn 2023

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Recognising our MSWA volunteers | Horst Bemmerl: Reaching new heights | MSWA Albany turns one! | Anne and Doug's travel adventures

OUR COMMUNITY THE 25

OUR COMMUNITY THE 25 CLUB The MSWA team ready for the Grand Prize draw Lotteries team members Spencer and Laura. Super Early Bird winner Briana (centre) with Tracey (left) and Melanie (right) . Purchasing a ticket in the MSWA “This is going to make such a Mega Home Lottery was an easy difference to my kids, I will get a decision for Troy and Isobelle, benefit out of it as well, but certainly motivated by the difference MSWA for my children – that is my focus.” makes in the community. For Mike, buying tickets in the “For a number of years, we have Mega Home Lottery was about prided ourselves with supporting supporting the cause, sharing that such an amazing cause. To have it he would have “kept buying tickets Early bird winners Troy and Isobelle result in the Early Bird prize is more than we could have ever imagined,” he said. even if I didn’t win”. The tearful phone call was just as powerful on the caller’s side, with MSWA Chair Horst, Client Michael and CEO Melanie. For our young Mega Home Lottery ticket purchasers, lighting struck twice this year with both our Early Bird and Super Early winners instant millionaires at just 25 years of age. Briana, a special needs education assistant, was at work when she was told she was the new owner of a .3 million Mount Lawley Apartment. Her initial thought was that someone had been trying to contact her because her dog had gotten out, but was floored by the real reason for the call. “I thought no, this isn’t real – I did not believe it,” Briana said. “I got the phone call at the start of lunchtime and less than 20 minutes later, everyone was running up to me from all sides of the school to congratulate me, asking if it was true.” Working each day with children with additional needs, Briana understands just how important MSWA’s support is for Clients. “My pop was also diagnosed with Parkinson’s, so it all ties in,” she said. “I just like helping and supporting people where I can, but I also love being in it to win it – so it’s a winwin all round.” For Briana, this good fortune has opened the door to so many more opportunities in life than she ever imagined. “My job isn’t great paying, but I really love it, so I had been battling it out. Now I have so many more opportunities and can keep doing a job that is so rewarding," she said. It was also an exhilarating experience for MSWA Client and staff member, Tracey Hockey, who pushed the button to bring up Briana’s winning ticket number. “My heart was racing knowing that someone’s life was going to be changed forever in a Tracey even had the chance to give Briana a tour of her brand new apartment. “Briana really has a wonderful calling to work with children. Listening to her tell her story of her vocation and how much she loves it was very heartwarming.” “Now that she has had this windfall, Briana will be able to keep on doing what she is called to be.” The impact was just as profound for our Early Bird winners Troy and Isobelle. “When I received the call at work, it was just like any other day,” Troy said. “I had earlier been discussing with a colleague what it would be like to be mortgage-free and what life would be like.” “For us, this is so much more than just a house: this has laid the financial foundations for the rest of our lives and has set us up for success.” “Having seen MSWA provide services to a co-worker’s husband and their family really showed us how much of a positive impact these funds can have towards support, research and care.” “Thanks, MSWA, for an amazing start to life!” Setting up a future for my kids Since 2016, Mike has bought three tickets in each Mega Home Lottery – one for each of his children. The long-standing tradition turned into a million dollar windfall for the family man, who is now the proud owner of a million Mount Pleasant home with million cash in hand. “I was at a client’s house when Melanie and Michael rang,” Mike said. “I didn’t even have time to think about it until I was in the car, and then I am thinking ‘oh, this can’t be right’.” “It’s still surreal, dream-like – I’m overwhelmed in many ways, but so appreciative.” MSWA Client Michael reflecting that giving the good news was “the next best thing to winning yourself”. “To be able to tell a fellow Michael he had won the grand prize, he was obviously totally moved by it,” he said. Michael encouraged supporters to “buy as many tickets as they can, as often as they can” with the funds put to good use at places like Margaret Doody House, one of MSWA’s respite accommodation centres. “It is state-of-the-art inside and they have all the equipment they need here… but it also has the cosy touches, like the fireplace, that really add to the respite air.” “They have thought of everything; no matter what your condition is.” “It’s terrific to have a facility like this and a program like this that MSWA runs; it’s just mindboggling and definitely worth every penny that people can give to support it.” Tracey’s message to our MSWA Mega Home Lottery supporters: To those who purchased tickets, thank you from the bottom of my heart! It is because of your generosity that MSWA can keep supporting more of us as needed. Life is challenging but knowing that we can come to MSWA for support is amazing. It is so important to have safe places to go for respite, to grow, to enjoy the company of others and be supported. MSWA can offer these safe places and support services because of amazing supporters of fundraising initiatives like the lottery. wonderful way,” Tracey said. 34 35

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