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Low profile philanthropists make big contribution

Geoff Helisma |

The philanthropic actions of Merv and Yuki Sheehan (both deceased) were relatively unknown up until Premier Gladys Berejiklian revealed that $350,000 from their estate had been pledged towards rebuilding the helipad at the Maclean District Hospital.

However, their purposefully ‘out of the spotlight’ and benevolent actions amounted to much more than partly funding the helipad.

Maclean Public School’s principal, Sandra Armstrong, put it like this: “Yuki’s legacy is a gift to children now and into the future.

“The ripple effect will be felt through three schools, the hospital and the Westpac rescue helicopter – the impact of her generosity is going to be felt for generations.

“Yuki’s generosity has had such a positive impact on our students and staff.

“We have a beautiful library where our students love to go to read and research, enough musical instruments for all students to learn to play them, and a playground bursting with fun equipment to play on.”

St Joseph’s Primary School’s principal, Dale Layland, expressed a similar view.

“A number of rooms including the library were air conditioned,” he said.

The Sheehans’ bequest also covered the costs of a soft-fall synthetic playground, with climbing equipment, information technology equipment and library books.

“Merv and Yuki made a massive difference to our community,” Mr Layland said.

“I cannot speak highly enough of what they have done for our school.”

Bequests were also made to Maclean High School for similar projects; however, the principal was meeting with various students’ parents and was not available for comment when the Independent inquired.

The Sheehan estate’s trustee said it had been “good to work with Yuki to ensure the money stays within the community”.

“Merv and Yuki were a local couple who donated their finances for the sole benefit of the local community,” he said.