Six Victorian clubs receive Disaster Relief Fund grants
Bowls Australia Victorian based RBM (North East) John Emerson, along with Jimmy Whitehead (former Bowls Australia RBM, now Bowls Victoria staff), recently spent some time with six clubs who were recipients of funds donated through the Disaster Relief Fund.
The four deserving clubs in the North East were Bright Bowls Club, Corryong Bowls Club, Myrtleford Bowls Club and Tallangatta Bowls Club.
All four clubs suffered a significant loss of income over the bushfire period. Bright Bowls Club was heavily impacted, with most of the town being evacuated and the Club being out of bounds for several weeks.
The town of Tallangatta became one of the main staging areas for Emergency Services during the bushfire period and played a large role in assisting surrounding towns.
A number of members from all four clubs lost homes, property and livestock during the fires.
Tallangatta Bowls Club President, Roger Lees, went on to say, “With our town being a major staging area for all Emergency Services personnel, it was a hive of activity with nothing on anyone’s mind other than the safety and wellbeing of community members.”
“We are a close-knit community and when anyone is affected like this, we are all affected. It was a very trying and emotional time for everyone,” said Corryong Bowls Club President, Noel Blake.
From Bright Bowls Club President, Steve Jenvey, “The loss of income from the fire period had a significant impact on the Club’s ability to service its annual debts. We were also locked out of our facility during the COVID Pandemic which exaggerated our situation. These funds will be of great assistance.”
Lastly, Myrtleford Bowls Club President Lance Simons said, “Following a significant loss of income during the bushfire period we are finally getting back on track. It is our intent to use the funding we received to put towards upgrading the ditches on the Heberle Green. This will go towards allowing us to fill both greens with barefoot bowlers over the summer months.”
Moving over to Eastern Victoria, and Jimmy Whitehead presented both Bruthen Bowls Club and Lakes Entrance Bowls Club with some much needed funds.
At Bruthen BC the situation was also grim. Four members lost property and another three left the area. Since then the small club of 40 members lost a total of 18 members after the bushfires and COVID pandemic. However, with the help of the local community the club has managed to get barefoot bowling up and running every Thursday, with some of their barefoot bowlers going to fill spots for Saturday Pennant games. President, Graeme Clark, said the money received from the Disaster Relief Fund will go towards installing solar panels, as their power bill has been their biggest expense the last year.
After spending time at the six clubs mentioned above, and in speaking to club members, John Emerson and Jimmy Whitehead said everyone was extremely grateful for the assistance provided by Bowls Victoria during what has been an extremely difficult time. They also wished to thank Bowls Australia, Bowls Victoria and all clubs who had donated to the Disaster Relief Fund. Without their support these donations would not have been possible.
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