Finding cures for children's genetic diseases


Gerringong fundraisers named Community Group of the Year

When Children’s Medical Research Institute Gerringong Committee were presented with their award for Community Group of the Year it was at an event that they had catered for – and that says all you need to know about their hard work and dedication.

They were one of the first committees formed and will celebrate their 60th birthday in 2019.

In 1959 when Gerringong resident Dorothy Bailey contracted rubella while pregnant, her son was born with a congenital heart problem which led her to meeting CMRI’s founder Sir Lorimer Dods. When he asked her to return home and fundraise to establish a new research facility, dedicated to the welfare of children, she became passionate about the cause and that spirit still lives on today.

They were nominated for a Kiama Council’s Australia Day Community Group of the Year and were announced as winners at a ceremony at Gerringong Town Hall on Saturday.

Gerringong Committee secretary Lorraine Peade said they were so excited to win.
“All of us are so happy,’’ she said. “To receive the award it places a real focus on our history, the fact that it’s our 60th, and allows us to keep that message out in the community so they understand our main driving force is raising money for research.’’

Over 60 years the Gerringong Committee has raised more than $2m and still has 80 members including several life members. There are even second generation members.

They hold events ranging from a Mother’s Day High Tea to Jeans for Genes Trivia Night, Melbourne Cup Luncheon and huge Quilt and Craft Show.

Mrs Peade said over the years, there were more and more calls on the public purse for fundraising money but they were fortunate to work with other community groups for the greater good.

“When we are out selling raffle tickets money we see that everyone has a story,’’ she said. “Everyone talks to us about a child with an illness. They have a sad or a happy story so we always strike a chord with people. It’s wonderful to now have this recognition.’’