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Maddie Riewoldt’s Vision gets six-figure charity auction boost

Research into Bone Marrow Failure Syndromes will get a six-figure boost after a hotly contested charity home auction in Point Cook on Saturday.

The four-bedroom Fairhaven home, built thanks to labour generously donated by around 100 tradespeople and suppliers, sold for $736,000. The money will go to Maddie Riewoldt’s Vision, a charity chaired by former St Kilda Football Club champion, Nick Riewoldt.

Nick’s sister Maddie died at the age of 26 after a long battle with aplastic anaemia, a rare disease that prevents the body’s bone marrow from producing enough blood cells.

Nick said that although in the lead-up to the Bid For Maddie auction he’d been amazed by the big-heartedness of the community, he could still barely believe the result.

“It’s just incredible. We were quietly confident that bids would come, because we saw how well-built and well-appointed the home was – and in such a good location – but I’m blown away by this sum,” Nick said.

“It means so much and it will go such a long way. This will help us establish something we think has never been done before in the world: a National Bone Marrow Biobank that can collect all tissues, blood and genetic material to store and analyse in the one place.”

Nick said he couldn’t thank those who had contributed to the charity home auction enough.

“Well done to the entire team at Fairhaven Homes, their suppliers and every tradesperson that worked to deliver an incredible house,” Nick said.

“Thanks also to Satterley Property Group whose Upper Point Cook community was the perfect location for the home.”

Jake Munday, General Manager of Sales & Marketing at Fairhaven Homes and a friend of the Riewoldt family, said the event couldn’t have happened without the support of dozens of key contributors.

“So many people have gone above and beyond to make this project possible, and many of them haven’t been paid a cent for their time, their expertise or their involvement. It’s pretty overwhelming how many people have come and helped build a home for Maddie Riewoldt’s Vision,” Jake said.

The auction was the main attraction on a family day at Upper Point Cook featuring a footy clinic put on by Hawthorn’s Jaeger O’Meara and Collingwood’s Mason Cox, as well as free food, and music by the 2013 winner of The Voice, Harrison Craig.

After fierce bidding, the home was finally purchased by Point Cook residents, Catherine and Mel Mijares who said their successful bid would also have been their last.

“The cut to interest rates [earlier this week] changed the maths and allowed us to spend a little bit more, but it was right on our limit,” Catherine said.

The couple, who have two young sons, said they had been through the home several times before the day and knew the area well.

“Upper Point Cook is a diverse community and so good for kids. We’re so excited and very, very happy. It’s not just an investment; it’s benefitting a great cause.”

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