Penrith Press – December, 2013
An early Christmas present in the form on an $8,500 cheque has brightened up the festive season for Stephanie Burton, 16, and her family after their house was destroyed in the October bushfires at Yellow Rock.
Stephanie’s colleagues at Richardson & Wrench Penrith, where she works on weekends and during school holidays, discovered she had lost all her possessions in the fire and decided to help raise money for the family of four, who are living in a cramped granny flat that escaped the fire.
‘I’m looking forward to buying furniture for my room and the house’ Stephanie said.
Stephanie was at school when fire swept through her family’s Heather Glen Road house and 40 others in the street.
‘I found out from my mum and dad at the end of the day’, she said.
Leanne Burton was very grateful for the help from Richardson & Wrench staff and said the money would go a long way to relieving their plight.
Mrs Burton said the family would use some of the money during Christmas to get out of the granny flat where Stephanie and her brother Adam, 14, had to sleep in the same room.
‘It gets a big crowded in the granny flat but we are hoping our new home is built soon’, she said.
‘We don’t want to be in the granny flat over Christmas, so we will be going to my sister’s place for Christmas.’
‘We are very humbled by the generosity we have received at this time.’
Penrith office Principal Catherine Matusewicz said the money was raised after an appeal was made to all staff in the company’s offices throughout NSW to help Stephanie and her family.
Richardson & Wrench executive director Andrew Cocks said there had been an overwhelming response to the appeal.
‘We’re very much a family group’ said Mr Cocks. ‘We had a touching response’.