Community lends Noah a helping hand

The Collie Lions and Leos clubs, St John Ambulance volunteers and the Skoda family came together to raise money for Noah Skoda. Photo: Ashley Bolt
The Collie Lions and Leos clubs, St John Ambulance volunteers and the Skoda family came together to raise money for Noah Skoda. Photo: Ashley Bolt

Collie’s community spirit was on show recently as the Collie Lions Club, Collie Leos Club and volunteers from St John came together with the Skoda family to provide a helping hand for Noah Skoda.

The ladies from the Lions Club held a cake and craft stall in Central Park on Saturday, November 24, as well as a sausage sizzle to raise money to make life easier for Noah and the Skoda family.

The fundraiser was organised by Lions Club member June Lewis, who pitched the fundraiser to the group when she learned about Noah, a 15-year-old Allanson boy who suffered two strokes as a young child.

“We wanted to help out and give back to the community,” Ms Lewis said.

“Even if it’s only a little bit, anything we can give will help Noah and his family.”

Ms Lewis said the Lions Club ladies had supported her idea and had baked food items, created crafts and collected donations from the community for the sale.

Lions Club secretary Liz Hoare said the fundraiser had also received strong support from the community on the day.

“It was great to see everyone coming up and supporting Noah. The Collie community is always very supportive,” she said.

“From what I’ve seen, even if people are struggling themselves, they always give without even thinking about it.

“I’ve never seen that community spirit anywhere else.”

Noah’s mother Stacie Skoda said seeing the Lions Club get involved to help Noah was an emotional experience.

“I’m very overwhelmed by all the support,” she said.

“We’re a very private family and we’ve always done what we’ve had to do to support Noah, and to see the community helping out really means a lot.”

Ms Skoda said the money raised at the fundraiser would be ‘life-changing’ as they look to upgrade their vehicle which Noah has outgrown.

“We’re hoping to get a new van for Noah because he’s gotten too big to comfortably fit in the one we have. We have to sort of lay him down because he’s too tall.”

Noah’s grandmother Betsy Atherton was one of the St John volunteers supporting the cause on the day and she said she was surprised with how much effort the Lions Club put in.

“To see how June and the Lions Club ladies ran with idea of helping Noah, it really was amazing,” she said.

“The support is life-changing for us. We’ve always looked after him as a family but it becomes harder as he gets older and bigger.

“I wasn’t surprised by the support of the community though. We did a fundraiser for Noah a couple of years ago and Collie was really supportive then as well.”