When the Rotary Club of Bendigo started 2020 it was making plans to join with other Rotary Clubs and celebrate 100 Years of Rotary in Australia, 1921-2021. Incoming Club President Graeme Clarke lead the discussion on what we could do to celebrate this milestone within our local community.
Then the Covid pandemic hit us.
The Club cancelled the annual Easter Art Show, the Bendigo Swap Meet was cancelled, then work at The Sheep Show and Bendigo Wine Festival was lost and finally we had to make a call and the Carols by Candlelight was cancelled for 2020. Not to mention all the functions at the Bendigo Jockey Club, where we worked hard and raised thousands of dollars, and the weekly club meetings at the Bendigo Club in Strathdale.
But, President Graeme had set his presidential goals on celebrating this 100 year milestone and the 100 Acts of Kindness, an initiative first raised within our Rotary District 9800, was discussed. A grand gesture to share our centenary with the people most in need within our community.
Although the club had not had the opportunity to raise funds during this pandemic year, we also had unspe
nt funds due to the lockdowns. The Board members approved the use of unspent, but otherwise allocated, funds from cancelled projects to this opportunity. So we had some money, but how could we best leverage that - we needed a plan.
An opportunity to team up with a high profile local business was considered the best option and an approach was made to IGA Strathfieldsaye and Mitre 10 Golden Square to partner with us. The Rotary Club of Bendigo would purchase Gift Cards from these businesses, if these great local institutions would match our contribution, thereby doubling our donation to a bigger and better presentation.
Both companies agreed and we were now able to present 100 envelopes containing a $40 gift card from IGA and Mitre 10 to local community members doing it tough. We will give away a total of $8000 to help our community and, as it has been evident throughout this ‘pandemic year’, continue the trend of locals putting up their hand to help their local community.
The Rotary Club of Bendigo acknowledges the great contribution by IGA Strathfieldsaye and Mitre 10 Golden Square in making this 100 Acts of Kindness initiative a great success and we sincerely thank them for their generosity.
On Wednesday, December 9, President of the Rotary Club of Bendigo, Graeme Clarke, presented envelopes to Gerard Jose from Bendigo Community Health and Angela Draper from Uniting Care and we are confident that their experience within the community will see these donations are targeted to those in most need.