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Big health scare leads to big donation by local developer

Local developer behind Millhouse Estate joins forces with real estate agency The Property Shop to make a major cash donation to local health services.


They develop and market big blocks, now two local companies in the property development and real estate game have made one very big donation.

Urban Properties owners James and Rachel Fennell, the family team behind Millhouse Estate and The Village Edge, have turned their personal cancer scare into a remarkable act of generosity with a $20,000 donation to the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation.

The money was raised from the profits of a unique no-reserve auction, held at the Millhouse Estate site at Edmonton in May.

When Cairns real estate firm The Property Shop - who managed the auction - heard of the donation plans by Urban Properties they added a $5000 contribution, taking the total to $25,000.

The concept for the donation came from James Fennell's life-threatening cancer scare five years ago.

At the time, the Fennells were living in Brisbane when James was diagnosed with an aggressive blood cancer and told he had just 90 days to live.

His successful treatment and recovery changed his outlook on life, and sharpened his focus on supporting health services in regional areas.

Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation CEO Tony Franz said the organisation was over-whelmed with the donation, and would use the funds for local cancer services.

"We've been blown away by this event and the generosity of the people involved who really are passionate about health care in this region," Mr Franz said.

"They know that their donation goes directly to its intended purpose and that it will make a real difference in people's lives."

Ben Johnston from The Property Shop said he donated his commission from the auction sale because "everyone in our community is touched by cancer in some way".

"We are thrilled with how well this unique event turned out for the new owner of the block, who works within the health system, and the Foundation and the patients and staff it supports," Mr Johnston said.

"We are all touched by cancer in some way through people we care about and we feel it's important to be part of helping our community."