Penrith Panthers are pleased to confirm we will play Canberra Raiders at Pepper Stadium on Sunday, July 26, and use the occasion to raise funds in support of seriously ill children and their families.
The club originally looked into the possibility of taking the fixture to Christchurch, New Zealand, but those plans have been shelved in favour of giving Panthers members and fans another opportunity to support their team on home turf.
With the match now moved back to Penrith, the club is proud to announce a match-day initiative to raise $100,000 for the Ronald McDonald Nepean Family Room at Nepean Hospital.
The Panthers will contribute $10 from every adult ticket purchase and $5 from every junior ticket purchase towards the $100,000 fundraising target. The club will also donate $10 from every Heritage jersey sold, with the players set to take to the field against the Raiders wearing the new-release Penrith heritage jersey.
Pepper Home Loans is proud to kick off the fundraising efforts with a generous pledge of $10,000.
The Nepean Family Room provides a welcoming home away from home for families of seriously ill children, who are undergoing treatment at Nepean Hospital.
"It is fundamentally important that the Panthers are able to give back to the Penrith community which so passionately supports the club," Panthers Head of Rugby League Justin Pascoe said.
"The Nepean Family Room is a special place and Panthers is proud to have the opportunity to make a contribution to the remarkable service it provides.
"We are calling on our members and fans to rally to this cause with the same pride, passion and commitment they show for our club every week."
Located in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Nepean Hospital, the Nepean Family Room contains a kitchen, lounge room, dining area, play area, a mother's room and a quiet room.
The facility is managed by dedicated volunteers and is designed to alleviate some of the stress associated with the emotionally-draining experience of caring for a seriously ill child.
Nepean Family Room Coordinator Meagan Preston said the facility allows mums, dads and siblings to enjoy some temporary relief from the tension of the clinical environment.
"Here they have a space to enjoy some family time, a cup of coffee, a meal, or just the chance to relax and regroup before being ready to return to their child's bedside," she said.
"The donations from the Panthers initiative will help with our ongoing operational costs, allowing us to stock our pantry and fridge, pay for maintenance and support our volunteers."