Story written by: Sue Custance, Bloomhill volunteer

RUTH McDonald has been a volunteer for many years and with a successful background in hospitality and the property industry, it is fitting that her invaluable community service has also been acknowledged with a park named in her honour.

Through signing up to become a volunteer with Bloomhill Brightwater, Ruth feels she has again been rewarded. This time with a welcomed sense of community in her new neighbourhood on the Sunshine Coast.

Following a decision to downsize from a large ¼ acre block, Ruth and her husband moved from Burpengary to the Coast almost four years ago. Although they said goodbye to busy times within the community on many levels, the move seems to have been a good choice for Ruth as well as the Brightwater community.

“It was time to give ourselves a bit of a break,” said Ruth “and while Redcliffe was our usual seaside retreat, we were drawn here by family. Brightwater has almost everything we wanted in our new home as well as a convenient lifestyle.”

The offer of a donation and a meeting with the team at Bloomhill Brightwater soon saw this community-minded resident once again giving back.

“The Brightwater shop accepted my offer of some bubble wrap and at the same time I looked into helping out. Appreciative of the wonderful work Bloomhill does, I wanted to help out, knowing the funds raised are spent wisely.

“In 2018 I was asked to speak about volunteering and I was reminded me that not only does the opportunity give a sense of belonging and a sense of family; you’ve always got somewhere to take what you don’t need. Even my dog benefits. He’s always looking in my bag when I come home and sometimes he’s rewarded by a small toy.”

Early last year the Moreton Bay council elected to acknowledge Ruth’s many years of service to the community of Burpengary. What had begun as an involvement with the Burpengary Community Progress Associated led to almost 20 years’ involvement. Firstly as treasurer and then as president. During the last five years, Ruth also undertook the management of the local community hall.

Ruth became a well-regarded figure and her passion to work hard led to the instigation of many community-based activities. When you hear of the Burpengary Christmas Spectacular, think of Ruth. This event began as her vision originally known as the Burpengary Christmas fun day. That first year with just a few hundred dollars available to hire a few rides and organise carols, is now an annual event attracting thousands.

Ruth was beyond thrilled when she was advised that a park would be named in her honour for the service she so generously provided to Burpengary. And so became Ruth McDonald Park.

“I imagined a little log with an inscription but it was huge. It was a great day with family and friends gathered to celebrate the occasion.”

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