Gift of life at home

Hayden Real Estate's Jonathan Gill and Hugh McKewan, Alex Hamilton and Karl Waddell, with their son Bodhi, and Geelong Homes general manager Andrew Carroll. 150846_01

ABOUT 80 people gathered at Oakdene Estate for the auction of the River’s Gift Charity House this Saturday.
Except, it wasn’t an auction – the house had already been sold.
Hayden Ocean Grove director Hugh McKewan said the new owners bought the house for the expected sale price – between $480,000 and $520,000.
“They were keen to pick it up before the auction,” he said. “It was just one of those things where it all fell into place.”
River’s Gift co-founder Karl Waddell said the profits from the sale – totaling more than $100,000 – would go towards research to “Stamp out SIDS”.
Karl said the money would pay for two Australian PhD students to conduct “world-leading SIDs research” at Harvard Medical School.
Dozens of tradies and local groups donated time and services to build and market the house – totalling more than $100,000.
Karl and his partner Alex Hamilton founded River’s Gift in 2011 after they lost their four-month-old son, River, to SIDS.
They’ve spent the last four years raising more than $350,000 for SIDs research.
“To suddenly get a corporate sponsor come up and donate more than $100,000 is just amazing,” he said.
“We are overwhelmed and incredibly grateful for everyone who gave their time and effort – especially Geelong Homes. We’re just gobsmacked by the local generosity.”
The small crowd gathered at the home that morning celebrated with a sausage sizzle, while Geelong children’s band the Mik Maks kept the youngsters entertained.
To see a full list of sponsors for the house visit To donate visit