Rotary raises glass

A NEW food and wine festival could be held in South Gippsland next summer, under a proposal by the Rotary Club of Leongatha.
New club president Jeremy Curtis told members of the idea at the club’s annual change-over dinner on June 18.
The festival is scheduled for Saturday, January 19, 2019, at Mossvale Park, Berrys Creek.
“The purpose is to showcase the high quality food and wine of Gippsland. This event is not to be missed and will stimulate economic growth in the area,” Mr Curtis said.
The new president said the club would continue to service the community by staging the Show’n’Shine motoring show and Leongatha Art and Photography Show, as well as back broader Rotary projects.
These include Gippsland Rotary Centenary House cancer centre at Latrobe Regional Hospital at Traralgon and End Trachoma 2020 – a project to address blindness in Indigenous communities in Australia.
Mr Curtis said the Rotary Club of Leongatha is a collegiate group of members who enjoy each other’s company and always welcome newcomers.
He will be assisted by new board members: immediate past president Sue Dutton, president elect Michael Hogan, treasurer Gordon Morrison, Foundation director David Panther, program director Anne Martin, secretary Kim Harris, youth director Mary Dortmans, and general directors Shirley Seabrook and Leo Argento.
Retiring president Mrs Dutton said during her term, the club gained an extra member and now boasted a membership of 42.
Guest speaker highlights were the Jeremy Scott bike adventure night, Marcus Akahuta-Brown, Melina Bath MLC, Jacqui Bowman speaking on her fundraising for Transform the Nations, Dr Chris Ball talking about the history of anaesthetics, and Rotary speakers from Interplast and End Trachoma.
The club ran school debating, and enjoyed social evenings and fundraising events, including an Indian feast, the Greek Feast woodchop dinner, a movie night, Lucinda Winery dinner, Knockwood dinner and the club Christmas break-up hosted by Sue and Jol Dutton at their Koonwarra home.
A Murder Mystery night was supported by Lyric Theatre members and 10 members attended the district conference in Sale.
The club’s main fundraising projects were the art show and Show‘n’Shine, and the club provided volunteers for the Meeniyan Garlic Festival to raise funds for End Trachoma 2020.
“These events are not only great to attend but help to support making a difference to our local community and beyond, by bringing people together as well as the dispersal of money raised,” Mrs Dutton said.
“Foundation director David Panther continued to do a really fantastic job, focusing on Fundraising for Rotary Foundation and End Polio, organising the movie night and special dinners, as well as donations from members.”
Locally, Rotarians serve the community by providing volunteers for Meals On Wheels, Breaky Club and Rotary Youth Driver Awareness.
The club farewelled Austrian exchange student Max Sutterluety, sponsored the Leongatha Secondary College Award ($100), a team of three girls from Koonwarra-Leongatha RSL Cricket Club to attend Cricket Without Borders in Hong Kong ($250), the Leongatha Scout Group to attend Jamboree ($200), the Leongatha Gymnastics Club ($200), and the LDNA and Leongatha Netball Club to upgrade facilities ($500 each).
Leongatha Primary School benefited by receiving a trailer load of wood to raffle for fundraising.
Community donations were made to Leongatha Red Cross ($100), Lifeline Gippsland ($100), Lyric Theatre ($295 subscription) and Centenary House ($1600).
The club contributed to The Harvey’s Deck project ($500, plus community donations) and attracted a matching grant through the RABS Compassionate Grants funding of $3800.
The club also provided sponsorship to Transform the Nations to help address sexual slavery in such nations as Bangladesh and Nepal.
“We hosted a community forum this year, the Ice Breakdown night, to inform families and interested community members about supporting those affected by the use of ice,” Mrs Dutton said.
The outgoing board was secretary Michael Hogan, treasurer Chris McDonald, immediate past president Don Bruce, president elect Jeremy Curtis, Foundation director David Panther, community services director Andrew Debenham, youth director Mary Dortmans, membership director Michael Holloway and public relations director Alan Steenholdt.
The change-over was attended by representatives of Rotary clubs from Wonthaggi, Korumburra, and Phillip Island-San Remo, Woorayl and Leongatha Probus clubs, and Leongatha Lions Club.

Movers, shakers: from left, the new board of the Rotary Club of Leongatha is president elect Michael Hogan, treasurer Gordon Morrison, president Jeremy Curtis, program director Anne Martin, immediate past president Sue Dutton, general director Leo Argento, Foundation director David Panther and general director Shirley Seabrook. Absent: youth director Mary Dortmans and secretary Kim Harris.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=25222

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