Joel Hart fundraiser at Escarpments Estate, Katoomba on November 4

Joel Hart with his sisters, Evie, 5 and Tullie, 8. Joel’s condition has worsened in the past year, requiring the powered chair.The NDIS will pay for car modifications, if the family purchase a much newer vehicle. Photo credit: Michael Small.

Joel Hart with his sisters, Evie, 5 and Tullie, 8. Joel’s condition has worsened in the past year, requiring the powered chair.The NDIS will pay for car modifications, if the family purchase a much newer vehicle. Photo credit: Michael Small.

Organisers are keen to complete their fundraising goal to buy a much needed customised vehicle for a Wentworth Falls family.

Thirteen-year-old Joel Hart of Wentworth Falls has muscular dystrophy, which means he needs a powered wheelchair and a customised car to transport it, to get around comfortably.

His mother, Belinda, has multiple sclerosis so “it [the car] just isn’t in our budget,” Joel told the Gazette.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme has paid for Joel’s chair, but the family car is too old to be modified, limiting their options severely. Rotary has been working hard over the past few months to raise the $40,000 the Harts need and will top off the fundraising campaign with a special night next month to raise the last $10,000.

“Having a car that my whole family can travel in is really important to me too … accessible taxis are expensive,”Joel said.

Upper Blue Mountains Sunrise Rotary spokesman Bill Pixton said a special night is being organised at the new Escarpments Estate (Katoomba Golf Club) on Saturday November 4.

It precedes the official opening of Escarpments Estate a week later.

“The Rotary clubs of the Blue Mountains have come together to support Joel and his family who need our help. It will be a pretty special night with lots happening and we would like to share it with you,” he said.

Joel is a talented pen and ink artist and his work will be raffled on the night. The family will be there and Dad, Steve Hart, will talk about their challenges. Entertainment was still being finalised last week but there will also be games and silent auctions.

“There’s a huge array of prizes on offer [and] it will be a fun, uplifting night,” Mr Pixton said.

Tickets are $40 pp and the easiest way to book or donate is at www.bluemountainsrotary.org.  Phonel inquiries to Michael Small from the Rotary Club of Upper Blue Mountains on 0417 843456.

The event is being supported by Penrith City Automotive, Mountains Youth Services Team and Escarpments Estate.

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