Where there’s a Will there’s a way

When Will Harvey suffered an acquired brain injury after a fall, his large group of close friends wanted to show their love and support for him by fundraising.

Leading the charge were his friends who worked with him at the Croydon McDonald’s Restaurant, Ally Mott, Ryan Young and Ben Harriss. They aimed to raise $5,000 to buy special equipment to help make his life a bit easier.

They organised an event at the Croydon McDonald’s last September and were overwhelmed by the response.  Hundreds of Will’s friends and family came along and they raised more than $17,000 – smashing their target.

The theme was Bright Night and people were encouraged to dress in colourful clothes and dig deep to support Will. Ryan and Ben shaved their heads to raise most of the money – attracting donations of up to $500 from some supporters. Wonga Park Cricket Club, where Will played cricket, also fundraised thousands of dollars for Will and donated the money to the fundraiser.

Ally said the highlight was seeing Will’s reaction when he saw hundreds of people coming along to support him.

“It was great to have Will come along. You could tell he was really moved to see everyone there.”

The owners of the Croydon McDonald’s Restaurant also donated $1 for every person who went through the drive-through that day.

Tragically, Will passed away before he was able to benefit from the fundraising. He lived for a short time at VMCH’s residence for young people with an acquired brain injury Austin Street, in Alphington.

Will’s parents, Kathryn and Tony kindly donated the money raised to Austin Street and recently visited its residents to deliver them the news.  They are pictured during the recent visit to Austin Street (from left, Kathryn, Ben, Ally, Ryan and Tony).

“Our son was here for just a relatively short time; but, the work done here and the staff are amazing. It’s a very, very special place,” Kathryn said.

 The family want the money to be used to help the young people living at Austin Street enjoy things like live concerts, the theatre, movies and fun trips live visiting the snow – one of Will’s passions.