DUBBO and district children who suffer from glue ear and similar hearing problems have a new champion on board for their cause.
Dubbo businessman David Hayes made a pledge that would help put a mobile ear health clinic on the road sooner and keep it there.
Mr Hayes, dealer-principal of Dubbo City Toyota, gave the commitment to the Hear Our Heart Ear Bus Project, the mission of which is to improve access to diagnosis and treatment.
His announcement the dealership would provide a Toyota Coaster bus at "bare-invoiced cost" to the project and service it for free for a three-year period was welcomed by the committee, fundraising for the past 18 months.
The benefactor topped off the pledge with a donation of $10,000 to the charity, bringing the project well beyond the halfway mark of its first goal - to raise $100,000 for the vehicle's purchase.
Its final target is $300,000, which would fit out the bus with an audiology booth and ear specialist equipment to test for and treat glue ear and other types of otitis media at all public and private child care centres and primary and high schools in Dubbo and surrounding districts.
The committee reports four other states have mobile ear health clinics or programs but in NSW there are none.
Its members' concerns about limited services in the western NSW region convinced Mr Hayes to make his announcement at the recent Hear Our Heart Christmas in July fundraiser.
He said children were the future and the committee had told him of examples where many learning difficulties and social issues were alleviated by discovering a hearing issue through a simple hearing test.
"The kids thrive once their hearing issue is treated," Mr Hayes said.
"This is an important charity that must succeed in my opinion."
Mr Hayes said he remembered being lucky enough - in hindsight - to have had a hearing test as a child at Dalby, Queensland.
Founding committee member Rowena Galway said Dubbo City Toyota's sponsorship was fantastic and the commitment to service the vehicle was recognition the committee was planning the bus as a long-term prospect.
"The pledge makes us even more determined to get our final result," she said.
The growing list of supporters from the business community also includes The Good Guys Dubbo, FrontRow and Bernardi's Marketplace Supa IGA.
Rodney Sparrow from The Good Guys presented a $6000 cheque from his local community giving program to the committee at the Christmas in July fundraiser.
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