Town lends a helping hand

Warrandyte knows all about natural disasters, and is, as usual, providing generous aid-in-kind, as well as raising thousands of dollars to support Queensland and Victorian communities devastated by the recent floods.

Almost one-quarter of Victoria has been affected by floods, with the clean-up estimated to cost hundreds of millions of dollars. The cost of Queensland’s recovery may extend well beyond $20 billion.

Warrandyte Lions Club is supplying 400 Queensland families with mops, buckets, squeegees and other cleaning items to help the clean-up effort. One hundred Horsham families in Victoria have already received clean-up tools from the club.

Lions are putting together a fencing trailer for the Chinchilla, Condamine and Miles area in south-east Queensland, providing farmers with the tools to rebuild their fences.

Lions spokesman, Lauri Hilakari, said these results would not have been possible without the involvement of other Lions clubs in the district, the help of staff and volunteers at the Warrandyte op shop and continuing aid from the Warrandyte community.

“If we didn’t have the generosity of the Warrandyte community, donating goods to the op shop and buying from there, we wouldn’t be able to do this,” Mr Hilakari said. “The Warrandyte community is fantastic. We couldn’t do it without them.”

He encouraged people to continue donating and buying goods from the op shop to raise more money for the flood effort.

The Rotary Club of Warrandyte-Donvale is donating 14 generators to rural areas still awaiting re-connection to the power grid.

The club is holding a major fundraiser in conjunction with the Manningham, Templestowe and Doncaster clubs at the Veneto Club on Wednesday, February 16. At $55 a head, 200 guests will enjoy a two-course meal and live entertainment provided by well-known artists.

“It should be a great night, with good meals and wonderful entertainment,” local Rotary club president Tony Mooney told the Diary. “We hope to raise thousands of dollars in one night. All proceeds will go to the Victorian flood appeal and we are asking the community to donate auction items or raffle prizes for the night.”

The local SES unit, based at Doncaster, has sent crews to central and western Victoria where volunteers assisted with sandbagging, rescuing people and evacuating houses and hospitals. The SES will deploy more volunteers throughout Victoria in the coming weeks, depending upon whatever level of assistance is required.

Community support will continue to be needed for the huge recovery process ahead, deputy controller of SES Doncaster unit, John Allen, said.

“Obviously it’s going to be a long clean-up for people in northern Victoria and Queensland and they will need the support of others in the community for quite some time.”

Market-goers were able to donate money to help flood victims at a donations stall at the Warrandyte Market in February.

Warrandyte Community branch of the Bendigo Bank is accepting donations to help flood victims and people can donate at any Bendigo Bank branch.

How you can help

•The Lions Club Op Shop is at 168 Yarra Street, Warrandyte, on the corner of Yarra Street and Mitchell Avenue. Hours: Monday to Friday, 1030am to 4.30pm; Saturday and Sunday: 11am to 5pm.

•Anyone interested in attending or donating items for the Rotary Club fundraiser should call Tony Mooney on 0419 352 644.

•The Warrandyte Community Branch of the Bendigo Bank is situated at 144 Yarra Street, Warrandyte, phone 9844 2233.

•The next Warrandyte Community Market will be held on the riverbank below Stiggants Reserve on Saturday, March 5, between 9am and 1pm. Access from Stiggant Street, Everard Drive or Police Street.

•Locals wishing to volunteer to help flood victims can contact Lions through 0419 396 816; or Rotary on 9844 2500.

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Brianna Piazza

Journalist and travel writer.

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