Helping 350 community groups

$1.5 million in funding from Canberra Southern Cross Club helps 350 groups

CHILDREN, chorists and the SES will be just some of the beneficiaries of almost $1.5 million in funding from the Canberra Southern Cross Club this financial year.

The club will launch its season of giving on Sunday (August 24) at its annual Community Grants Luncheon, where 80 community, social and sporting groups will receive an annual grant.

Throughout the year the club will provide almost $1.5 million to 350 groups, including disability, craft, sporting, education, youth and medical support associations.

Club Vice President and Community Grants Committee Chairperson Kim Marshall said the club continues its proud history of supporting the community and has provided more than $13 million in cash grants and in kind assistance.

“We know the $1.5 million we are providing this year enables many groups to exist and enhance the lives of Canberrans,” she said.

“Whether it be our support of the ACT Muscular Dystrophy Association, Canberra Carols by Candlelight run by the Woden Valley Youth Choir, the Woden SES Group, the Cerebral Palsy Alliance and all of the many small volunteer organisations we assist, each and every group plays an important role in our community.”

Mrs Marshall said the luncheon would feature a presentation from a family that benefits from the work of the Cerebral Palsy Alliance. The Heart and Soul Singers choir will use its $1000 grant to continue providing entertainment and friendship to its members and audiences.

Manager Janelle Burns said the Canberra Southern Cross Club grant was the over 50s choir’s only form of financial assistance and it provided the opportunity for the group to thrive.

“We’re focused on singing but also on companionship, which is very important for people as they get older. It makes you feel good,” she said.

Mrs Burns said in the past the grant had been used to print songbooks, which are handed out at performances so the audience can sing along, and to pay for special guests to come and share their musical knowledge with the choir.

The choir has also invested in a program that allows song lyrics to be shown on large screens.

“It’s really enabled us to expand what we do,” Mrs Burns said.

“We were knocked five ways when we received the first grant and we feel very privileged to have been included again as a recipient.”

Meg’s Toy Box will use its $1000 grant to purchase new toys.

A not-for-profit organization run out of St Margaret’s Uniting Church in Hackett, Meg’s Toy Box has been going for 23 years and has about 900 toys available to its 160 families. Committee member Jennifer Tonna said “The grant forms a quarter to one-fifth of the amount the toy library spends each year on toys. We don’t get a lot of other funding so the grant really helps support us.”

The Woden SES will use its $1000 grant to buy backpacks for its volunteers. Unit deputy commander Adrian Manning said each volunteer needed to have a backpack containing food, water and clothing ready for when they are called out.

“We need to be self-sufficient for 12 hours,” he said. “Volunteers having to purchase their own backpacks can be a deterrent to volunteering so we think it’s great to use the grant to buy those bags.”

The Canberra Southern Cross Club opened in August, 1972, and now has four hospitality venues, five gyms, two basketball stadiums and the MV Southern Cross ferry.

It employs 550 people and has around 84,000 members.

Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory Katy Gallagher and Deputy Leader of the ACT Opposition Alistair Coe will attend Sunday’s luncheon, which starts at midday at the club’s Woden venue.