*Click the arrow above to scroll through the photos from the fundraiser.
THERE was a chocolate wheel, fairy floss, a jumping castle and even paddy cakes for Patrick – but this was no ordinary get-together, as hundreds partied in the park to raise money for a much-loved little boy from Manilla.
Patrick Coombes has a smile that touches almost everyone he meets and that was clear when more than 500 people pulled together to raise money for the four-year-old as he fights his biggest battle yet.
Little Patrick is battling an inoperable brain tumour and is undergoing radiotherapy at Sydney’s Westmead Hospital.
The news shocked the residents of the town of Manilla, who quickly rallied behind the Coombes family with a party in the park.
Patrick’s mother, Emma Coombes, told The Leader her family had been blown away by the support.
“We can’t say thank you enough,” Mrs Coombes said.
“It’s just been amazing.
“We’re away and it’s just nice to know there is so much support at home in Manilla and in Tamworth.”
The family was forced to uproot everything just a few weeks ago and head to Sydney for treatment.
It’d been a big transition for her little boy, Mrs Coombes said.
“He’s doing okay, considering,” she said of her son.
“It’s just one day at a time. We try and get him out (of the hospital) every day. We’re away now until the end of September.”
But there’s been a bit of help along the way.
“We fly down with a little organisation called Little Wings, and they’ve been fantastic,” she said.
But Saturday’s party for Patrick, a town concert and afternoon in the sun, has blown the family away.
Organiser Ian Bignall said the whole town was right behind them and it was a chance to put a smile on their dials.
“We hope we can make things a little bit better for them,” Mr Bignall said.
“It’s been a mad effort to organise, but it’s all come together.
“People just turned up and said ‘We want to help you raise money’.”
A local band, led by Patrick’s grandfather, Trevor Coombes, belted out a few tunes to the delight of the crowd, while face painting, games and a jumping castle took care of the kids.
All in all the concert raised more then $5500 to help the family financially while they’re away from home.
And it seems there’s more help on the way.
A family fundraising night is planned for October 12 in Tamworth.
And Manilla Preschool is also on board with an event of its own to help the family on September 13, in conjunction with its annual open day.
Director Jenny Ridge said there would be a sausage sizzle, jumping castle and face painting, among other things, all for a gold-coin donation.
Patrick is a student at the preschool and Mrs Ridge said everyone was feeling his absence.
“They’re such a lovely family and they’re always the first ones to put their hand up and help with other fundraisers, so now it’s their turn,” Mrs Ridge said.
She said the community had really pulled together and people were keen to do everything they could to help.
“That’s the beauty of living in a small town.”