THERE is always a hive of activity going on at the Hervey Bay RSL with patrons enjoying everything from bingo and functions to cold drinks, great food and a flutter in the TAB or gaming room.
What many don’t know is that while they are having a good time out, they are also helping to give back to the Fraser Coast community.
The venue is the only club in Hervey Bay that runs a Community Grants Program, which has seen local sporting clubs, individuals and community groups receive a share of a massive $4.7 million in the past eight years.
Community Engagement Office Sarah Bailey Wilkinson has been the face of the grants program for the past five years and has seen first-hand the incredible difference it makes to those seeking assistance.
The RSL supports and celebrates individual achievements and those doing vital volunteer work in the community.
“We know how tough it is for local not-for-profit groups, community groups and individuals, to get assistance and they are the ones that are serving the community and volunteering their time for the betterment of the region,” Sarah said.
“The program was developed all those years ago to ensure annual donations are spread evenly amongst a range of deserving applicants through the supple of not only donations but also labour, in-kind donations and the use of the club’s facilities.
“I am privileged to be in the role I’m in at the RSL … there’s no better feeling than being able to hand over a cheque to groups or individuals that truly need and appreciate it.”
In the 2020 financial year, $466,958 in donations and in-kind support was granted as part of the Community Grants Program.
As part of that, $36,000 was approved to We Care 2 to cover the cost of their counselling services, $21,000 to Volunteer Marine Rescue to cover running cots of the boats and, $20,000 to the Hervey Bay PCYC, which helps run vital programs for at risk youth and young women.
“We Care 2 help those who need a hand up, marine rescue ultimately save lives and youth in need would be lost without the programs that PCYC provide … all these services, and all the others we help, make the region a better place,” Sarah said.
“We are proud to be a part of that.”
The next round of community grants will open on March 1, 2021 and close on March 19, 2021.
Presentations will then be held in June/July.
Applications and guidelines for applying to the Hervey Bay RSL Community Grants program can be found at www.herveybayrsl.com.au under the ‘contact us’ tab.
Contact Sarah on 4197 7444 or firstname.lastname@example.org.