– Helping community groups, supporting local youth, assisting those in need
Along with a continuing purpose of care to veterans and their families, Foster RSL Sub-Branch is also committed to working for the local community in support of both local organisations and individuals alike.
During 2022 Foster RSL contributed $24,225 within the Corner Inlet District across a wide spectrum of interests.
These include assistance to service veterans; war grave markers at cemeteries; schools; sporting clubs; community groups; student encouragement awards and specific help to make life a little easier for those who need a hand.
Foster RSL Club’s President Bruce Lester explained how funds are obtained from the Club’s various endeavours.
“We are fortunate to have a large financial membership comprising of local people and others who offer their support by paying for a membership, and in many cases who also willingly assist with fundraising”, he explained.
“Service and affiliate memberships cost $35 per annum and there is also a $10 associate membership for those who are already financial members of another RSL Branch”.
“Social evenings and afternoons at the clubrooms are an ongoing source of funds as well,” he added, “with thanks to our volunteer bar manager and volunteer staff who willingly give their time to run the bar”.
Club members also give generously of their time in selling ANZAC badges and Remembrance Day poppies both of which are found to be good revenue raisers, with half of these funds going to RSL Victoria for Veteran Assistance and the other half returned to the club specifically for the benefit of local veterans and their families.
There is an annual dinner open to the public and an occasional fundraiser featuring an entertainer or performer, also open to the general public, and usually held at the Foster War Memorial Arts Centre.
“Foster RSL has also been fortunate in obtaining Government or community grants for specific purposes, such as past and recent renovations and improvements to the RSL building”, Mr Lester said.
“In recent times we have also been successful in obtaining grants from the Victorian Government’s Veterans Program and the War Graves Commission as well”.
Placing grave markers on the unmarked graves of three ex-servicemen at the Foster cemetery and two ex-servicemen at the Welshpool cemetery last year was the culmination of detailed research in a project ultimately costing $5,275. A $900 grant was obtained from the Australian War Graves Commission for this project, with the remaining cost of $4,375 supplied by Foster RSL.
In other Veterans affairs, a donation of $2,500 went to a young veteran whose car and caravan were damaged at Shepparton during the recent floods. Six local veterans’ widows received $500 each to assist with their winter energy bills. And a donation of $1,000 went towards a Christmas luncheon for local war veterans’ widows.
Local youth received a total of over $7,000 spread across schools, sport and individual endeavours. Included were $1,000 for dux of Foster Secondary College; $500 for a Year 11 High Achiever award; $300 to support local junior basketball; $2,000 to assist four young surfers from Sandy Point with travelling expenses to attend the National Championships in Queensland and $3,800 pledged to a student from Foster Secondary College to allow them to participate in the Young Endeavour Sailing Program.
The Foster Football Netball Club received a donation of $1,750, the Fish Creek Hall Committee $200 and $1,200 went to Manna Gum Community House to purchase a new deep freeze.
Foster RSL also sponsored $200 prize money for winners and placegetters in the ANZAC biscuit and handmade Remembrance poppy competitions at the Foster Show.
$1,000 went to a young local man dealing with health issues to go on a short holiday.
Mr Lester thanked everyone who has helped in the club’s fundraising and for volunteering, donating and supporting its ventures during the year.
Application for membership of Foster RSL is available by contacting the Secretary phone 5682 1489, mailing to PO Box 88, Foster, 3960 or call in to the clubrooms during open hours. The Annual meeting of Foster RSL
Sub-Branch Inc. will be held at the clubrooms at 7.00pm on February 20, with all members and interested members of the community welcome to attend.
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