More than 50 Sunshine Coast community groups — who collectively received more than $1 million in donations from Maroochy RSL in 2020 — took a moment to celebrate their successes when they attended a sponsorship morning tea at Maroochy RSL on Friday 26 March.
Maroochy RSL’s donations are part of the organisation’s ongoing pledge to support the local community, with more than $6.5 million being donated to over 350 organisations since 2015.
Maroochy RSL CEO Clare Paton said she was delighted that the Club was in a position to help the Sunshine Coast’s community groups, particularly during 2020 when they had to endure such unpredictable times due to COVID-19.
“Maroochy RSL primarily supports veteran welfare and wellbeing as well as schools, sporting bodies, animal charities, musical groups and other not-for-profit organisations,” Ms Paton said.
“There were many groups who suffered great losses in 2020 — both in volunteer resources and/or financial support — so it was great to be able to provide a financial relief to these services at a challenging time.
“While all community organisations struggled with the ever-changing landscape driven by the pandemic, we commend the high level of commitment demonstrated by our local charity and not-for-profit workers and their volunteers. The Sunshine Coast community is certainly a generous one and we were thrilled to offer support through our donations to help ease the load.
“We have always been very focussed on supporting our local community, who in turn support us by coming to enjoy what’s on offer at Maroochy RSL — it’s a win-win for the community as a whole.”
Bev Brocklehurst is a dog trainer and minder at one of the grant recipient organisations, Compass Institute, and said the team were very grateful for the donation from Maroochy RSL, which enabled them to continue their program of gifting assistance dogs to children with autism.
“The difference these dogs make to the lives of children with autism is incredible, but it takes time and money to train the dogs to meet the children’s needs,” Ms Brocklehurst said.
“2020 was very challenging as our organisation’s ability to fundraise via the usual channels, such as a shopping centre pop-ups and events, was severely impacted.
“There was a period for about three months when we were unable to fundraise at our very popular Sunshine Plaza pop-up and we also had to cancel one of our major fundraising events, which left us around 30 per cent down on our fundraising potential for the year. We couldn’t have continued our service were it not for generous donations like that from Maroochy RSL.”
Maroochy Neighbourhood Centre was another of Maroochy RSL’s successful recipients and coordinator Niamh Conway said as her organisation didn’t see an increase in regular state funding, the donation from Maroochy RSL was particularly helpful in supporting the unfunded work they did in the community.
“The donation from Maroochy RSL as well as from so many generous community members make a world of difference to our organisation,” Ms Conway said.
“Thanks to this support, we could remain open during 2020 to continue supporting the homeless and marginalised by providing up to 112 meals per week, via takeaway.
“During COVID-19, we also saw members of the community who were retrenched, made redundant or who lost their jobs visit the Centre for food support, help with Centrelink, rental and tenancy advice as well as medical support.”
The community groups will come together on Friday 26 March at 9:30am to connect and share stories at Maroochy RSL’s sponsorship morning tea.
Organisations can apply for funding on the Maroochy RSL website. For more information, visit www.maroochyrsl.com.au.
Total number of organisations helped:
- In 2020 – over 50 organisations
- Since 2015 – in excess of 350 organisations over a 5-year period
- 2016 = $1,305,978
- 2017 = $1,500,899
- 2018 = $1,435,000
- 2019 = $1,320,170
- 2020 = $1,010,001
- Total over the 5 years = $6,572,048