5 February, 2021
GIlgandra's Community Group of the Year 2021
Community groups across the country were knee capped by the pandemic, but that didn't stop groups in Gilgandra doing all they could with the limited time and resources that they had.
Tooraweenah Lions Club and the Gilgandra CWA Evening Branch were this year’s nominees for Community Group of the Year. Cr Noel Mudford read the nominations and presented the award to Tooraweenah Lions Club.
Tooraweenah Lions have continued to build the strength of the community spirit through what was a difficult and challenging year. The year that was 2020 saw many changes not only for members but our community and region as well, the way Lions delivered to and engaged with our community and showed us just how important connection with our neighbours, our families and friends can be.
Earlier in 2020, Tooraweenah Lions hosted a senior citizens luncheon, with the Tooraweenah Senior Citizen for 2020 being awarded to Jill Blackman.
Meetings took a break for a couple of months but started back monthly in the middle of the year. This was soon followed by the Tooraweenah Lions and Tooraweenah Show charity golf day. Lions members continued to cut firewood through the winter, delivering to locals in need.
There were a number of community donations including $1500 towards the cost of the Gilgandra Multi-Purpose Service’s emergency trolley bed, assistance to local sports persons for rugby and endurance riding as well as a contribution towards the Telstra small cell tower to help improve connectivity in the village. The Lions also hosted a Diabetes Awareness Walk with 21 people walking through the streets of beautiful Tooraweenah, doing a total of 105 kilometres towards the Lions Australia Lap the Map project and raising over $200 for the cause.
There was more co-ordination of deliveries from Coasties Drought Aid in follow up to their major donations from the Christmas before. This relationship has brought some lifelong friends into Tooraweenah and a real spark of hope and happiness to local families.
In December Lions hosted a community Mardi Gras event in conjunction with the Mountain View Hotel Christmas party, with a number of community market stalls, free train rides for children and a chocolate wheel.
The Tooraweenah Lions Club is an active and committed organisation that has been in Tooraweenah for over 40 years and they hope to continue to serve our community for many more to come.
Nominees, Gilgandra CWA Evening Branch have been active in the local community for 70 years.
The group is not just about making scones but about raising awareness of needs in rural and remote areas and serving our community to make it a better place for all.
During the three years of drought the members supported the community in many ways, acting as a contact and distribution point for donated items. They also had their CWA rooms in Warren Road completely renovated through combined fundraising and grant funding for use by CWA members and the wider community.
During the past year, CWA has worked hard following a COVID plan to keep the rooms safe for people to use, being cleaned after each occasion of use. Gilgandra Evening CWA members facilitate the CWA markets which are held on the first Saturday of the month in the main street, to promote the town and the local people and their produce and wares.
CWA members and crochet group members kept busy making woolen flowers to make a garden wall for the enhancement of the area at the back of Miller Street shops.
They have also made many rugs to be donated to hospital and aged care units where required.