The best of times … and the worst. Maitland residents have witnessed both in recent weeks.
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On the positive side we have seen the wonderful generosity of the likes of the Lioness Club of Rutherford and business couple Annie and Bob Dennerley who has opened their hearts to help East Maitland teenager Mitch Thomas who was left a quadriplegic after an accident in the river at Lorn on January 13.

They have raised $2300 and $544 respectively, both through the sale of raffle tickets, bringing to almost $20,000 the amount that the Maitland community has contributed to Mitch and his invalid pensioner mother Dianne Conroy.

Mitch, 18, is still doing it tough in intensive care in Sydney’s Royal North Shore Hospital, and he and his mother will need the ongoing support of their local community when they eventually return to Maitland.

The long list of recipients [43 in fact] of the Lionesses’ tireless work is amazing – from Father Chris Riley to the Thornton Rural Fire Service, and the Prostate Cancer Foundation to Destiny Haven – and they manage to dance their magic across many floorboards.

Annie and Bob Dennerley are simply good corporate citizens, caring deeply not only for the future of Maitland and, in particular, the Heritage Mall, but also taking the time and effort to extend their compassion to the plight of people such as young Mitch.

On the downside, we unfortunately see the wanton destruction of a $400 Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service fund-raiser banner along the New England Highway.

The banner was designed to garner support for the service’s annual Christmas in July benefit night, the money from which helps keep this service in the air.

It is hoped that by highlighting the senseless act on the front page of this newspaper that we can do our part in making up for loss sustained by the service.

The best way for the community to “retaliate” to this senselessness is to turn up to the event in droves.

Don’t let these drongos win.

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