It was a ground breaking event which has been five years in the making.
The official turning of the sod which marked the start of the Ronald McDonald Family Retreat Forster on-site office space earlier today, Wednesday, August 14.
Work on the custom designed structure was expected to get underway later this month.
Our goal is to offer families a great holiday experience, Forster co-ordinator Rhiannon Curtis says.
This space will allow us to do this, and expand our volunteer services, she said.
"It will enable us to do everything for the family in the one spot."
Rhiannon and her team of volunteers are located across the bridge in Tuncurry.
The space will also be the perfect place for our local community to get to know more about how we support families with a sick child and further their generous and kind support, she said.
The building, which will include reception, office, storage, meeting, kitchen, bathroom and garage, can also be converted into another accommodation cabin if the need arises in the future.
Overlooking Forster harbour, the site was leased from MidCoast Council, while donations from throughout the Mid North Coast community had enabled the building to be constructed.
Discount services from architects, builders and interior designers had also assisted with the project.
"It has been a long journey to this point and we could not have gotten here without the support of our local community."
Between 150-180 families take advantage of the accommodation throughout the year.
"For some it is the first family holiday they have had."
Forster couple, Steve and Carol Roper are typical of many Family Retreat volunteers.
While you're with us:
The Ropers began offering their assistance 12 months ago after having first hand experience with the facilities and services offered by Ronald McDonald House in Newcastle.
Their four-year-old grandson was a resident of the facility for eight months while receiving treatment for leukemia.
"We wanted to do something for them," Steve said.
In a nod to nostalgia, the original spade used to signal the start of the holiday accommodation back in 2006 was used in today's ceremony.
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