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Fundraising wishes come true

Daniel Bouwmeester    September 8, 2023    3 min read   

Springfield has been abuzz with the success of real estate agent Ryan Breaden’s June fundraiser for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Make-A-Wish is a charity that makes childhood wishes a reality – something Ryan himself experienced years ago through the organisation’s Ipswich branch.

Ryan organised and hosted the event at Ballistic Beer, Springfield Central, on June 8, with help from fellow Harcourts Greater Springfield teammates.

Even Harcourts Queensland Chief Executive Officer Mitch Peerboom was there to lend a hand as emcee for the evening.

And to rally support, the 19-year-old had his hair completely shaved.

By the end of the night, Ryan helped raise $10,000, which was then proudly handed over to the President of the Make-A-Wish Ipswich Branch Louise Clune.

Making it a particularly memorable occasion were newly appointed Deputy Mayor Russell Milligan, Division 2 Councillor Nicole Jonic, Springfield City Group (SCG) Managing Director Raynuha Sinnathamby and Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce (GSCOC) President Neil Coupland – all taking turns with the shears.

Councillors Russell Milligan and Nicole Jonic played their part in the proceedings.

Ryan Breaden poses with Harcourts Director Rudy Grommen.
Harcourts Queensland Chief Executive Officer Mitch Peerboom stood in as master of ceremonies. All images: Ryan Breaden / courtesy Navin Chandra.

For good measure, Harcourts senior sales professional John Schlamm also received a trim.

Other attendees included Harcourts directors Alma Grommen and Rudy Grommen, and Harcourts staff Janis Grommen, Achol Anyuat, Nil Basheri, Andrea Fernandes, Ethan Gelt, Aman Gulati, Lyka Knight, Lalit Kumar, Lea Powell, Jarrod Scanlan, and Vic Sharma – as well as Navin Chandra, who photographed the affair.

A sizable portion of the funds was donated by Ryan’s own Harcourts Greater

Springfield co-workers, including senior sales professionals Lise and Adam Vasiliou, as well

as $2,500 from The Harcourts Foundation – an impressive display of community spirit and

employee camaraderie.

Ryan also particularly wished to thank the Ballistic Beer staff who were great throughout the evening.

Returning the favour

When Ryan was 13, he was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma, a type of cancer affecting bone or soft tissue. The sarcoma was found in the left frontal temple of his brain.

As a result of this diagnosis, Ryan spent two years undergoing treatment, which included chemotherapy and radiation treatment. In 2019, he at last went into remission after fighting the illness for two years.

Soon after his treatment, Make-A-Wish organised and delivered what Ryan called the “perfect wish”: he spent a day with the Queensland Police Service at the Oxley Academy, including a tour patrolling the streets of Brisbane.

The charity receives no government funding, so all of its activities are sponsored by the generosity of the public.

A representative from Make-A-Wish praised Ryan for his initiative, calling him “part of the Make-A-Wish family” in a post on Facebook.

“What an amazing effort by our very own Ryan. Just by going bald, he [raised] an

amazing $10,000. Harcourts Springfield were fantastic supporters of tonight’s event,” the representative said.

For many months, Rudy Grommen – who offered Ryan his work placement at Harcourts – has supported him in his endeavours to host the event.

“It was a privilege to be able to support Make-a-Wish Ipswich in raising much needed funds to continue the good work they do for our community,” Mr Grommen said.

Daniel Bouwmeester

Daniel was born in a mining town in New South Wales to Dutch and Welsh immigrants, before relocating to Logan City, where he attended Canterbury College for twelve years. He pursued his passion for music by completing a first-class honours degree at the University of Queensland (UQ), and later signed with a local record label. He has travelled the world from a young age, including a student exchange in rural France, a job working the ski lifts in Colorado, and visits to the islands of the South Pacific. After a six-year career in market research, Daniel returned to UQ to complete a Bachelor of Journalism and Arts dual degree, majoring in political science. His varied experiences at home and abroad have contributed to a passion for spreading good news while defending the truth buried inside complex societal paradigms.