Seniors gift charities $220,000
IT’S NOT every day you give away almost a quarter of a million dollars – but that’s exactly what the Goonellabah Senior Citizens Club did last night.
The club, which decidedto close after being left with only eight members, sold off its Ballina Road clubhouse earlier this year and the proceeds – about $220,000 – were distributed to 11 worthy local charities last night.
The money was presented to recipients at a meeting of the Goonellabah Rotary Club at the Goonellabah Workers Sports Club.
“It’s a huge amount of money,” Goonellabah Rotary president Geoff Tomkins said.
“It’s especially big for a service club to be involved with, but we’ve just been helping the seniors facilitate where they will put their money.
“It’s worth noting that all the money will be staying in the community.”
The Rotary Club and the Seniors Club have had a long association, each having started about the same time.
The Rotary Club helped construct the Ballina Road clubhouse, which was officially opened in 1984 by then mayor Bob Scullin and former Member for Richmond Charles Blunt.
The club closed for the final time in February, 2010.
The local charities to benefit from the massive sum include the Rotary Club, the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter, the Lismore Lions Club, the Ballina-Lismore Surf Lifesaving Club, the Lismore Soup Kitchen, Sanctuary Northern Rivers, the Lismore branch of Diabetes, the Lismore branch of Arthritis, the East Lismore Rural Fire Service and the Lismore City SES.
The bulk of the funds will be given to Our Kids to help construct Our House, the community cancer care acc-ommodation unit to be established near Lismore Base.
While the Seniors Citizens Club has closed because of a lack of numbers, Mr Tomkins said it was a problem being experienced by many service clubs.
“We used to have over 40 and we are now below 20 members,” he said.
“Generations X and Y aren’t making the commitment to join clubs to put back into the community.”