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Wednesday, 17 June 2009
Page: 6398


Ms MARINO (9:57 AM) —I rise to acknowledge the efforts of Tim and Debbie Headley and the Brittany Fairy Ball committee. Recently in my home town of Harvey, 450 people attended the Brittany Fairy Ball to raise money for the Starlight Foundation. As we all know, the Starlight Foundation raises funds to deliver wishes to seriously ill children through the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Tim and Debbie’s bright, happy eight-year-old daughter, Brittany, was diagnosed with leukaemia. She spent nine months at Princess Margaret Hospital in Perth with her mother, Debbie, at her side. When Brittany lost her appetite and lost weight, to get her to eat more the staff encouraged her to make cookies in the hope that she would eat them. Brittany was one step ahead, though—she sold the cookies to staff members to raise money for the Starlight Foundation to grant wishes for other sick children like her. Brittany just loved fairies, so she gave Captain Starlight $5.20 from her cookie sales to buy a fairy from the local markets. Her father, Tim, made a donation box and stand, which was placed in the Starlight Room at the hospital. The money raised much-needed funds for Starlight. Brittany was granted her own wish but was too ill to take it. She did, however, run out on the ground with Collingwood at Subiaco Oval.

Following Brittany’s death, her parents decided they wanted to continue with their daughter’s idea of fundraising to deliver wishes to seriously ill children. With a veritable army of family, friends, local volunteers, businesses and donations, the Brittany Fairy Ball concept was born. The double basketball courts at the Harvey recreation centre transformed into a fairy wonderland, taking at least three days to decorate. There is a major auction, and laughter, dancing and a great night out are guaranteed. The Brittany Fairy donation box has pride of place for a gold coin donation near the legendary chocolate fountain. The first ball raised $36,000, the second one raised $40,000, and this last ball was expected to do the same. I congratulate Tim, Debbie and all the volunteers in Harvey and the wider community. This ball is no doubt a beautiful tribute to a brave, generous little girl who, in her short life, was a loving blessing to her family. I am very pleased that RadioWest in the south-west of my state is running a program, Give Me Five for Kids, that supports south-west families who have to spend time in Perth at Princess Margaret Hospital with their seriously ill children.