GALLERY: Kristy Thomson Appeal auction a great success

EMOTIONAL: Kristy delivers a heartfelt thank you

THE final major fundraiser for the Kristy Thomson Appeal, an auction at The Exchange, went off with a bang Friday night, raising $21,000.

This brought the combined total to $150,000, which committee chairman Michael McKern said was an “excellent result.”

 “We’re delighted,” he said.

“It’s been a fantastic achievement by everyone involved.

"The team’s done a marvellous job and we’ve been fully supported by lots of people.

“This is the biggest fundraiser I’ve ever been involved in.

"Bendigo’s fantastic at coming together with these things.”

An emotional Geoff Dudley, Kristy's stepfather, thanked the attendees for their support; fighting back tears to express his gratitude.

He said Kristy was going okay and had recently started using a wheelchair to get around.

He said she would start her rehabilitation next week and was determined to work hard.

Graeme Dudley, Geoff's brother, said the community effort had been incredible.

He said Kristy was overwhelmed by the community’s generosity and was very thankful.

"She told me, 'I'm not good with words; I just want to say thanks'," Mr Dudley said.

Retired Hawthorn footballer Rick Ladson donated three footy jumpers to the event, including a Hawthorn, Richmond and Carlton jumper.

He said he was happy he could help.

“It’s a great cause … whenever something bad happens in Bendigo people try to help out.”

Erin Warhurst, operations manager of The Exchange said the venue enjoyed assisting with community events.

She said the committee had done a wonderful job and that Bendigo was lucky to have them.

Kristy Thomson suffered serious spinal injuries when a tree in Rosalind Park fell on her and her four-year-old daughter, Patiya May, on December 30 last year.

Tragically, Patiya was killed in the accident.

Appeal events have included a rock concert at the Golden Vine Hotel, donations by Grill'd restaurant and a family day at the Allies Hotel.

Click here to read a letter of thanks from Kristy.

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