The Mirboo North Senior Citizens gathered to enjoy a beautiful lunch at the Baromi Centre last week, ably catered for by the Friends of the Aged Care. It was a celebratory lunch but had a number of poignant moments.
For many years these lunches have been a well-attended and much-loved fixture in the Seniors’ monthly activities: gathering at the Baromi Centre for a cooked meal, to listen to a local speaker and have a chat. Last week’s lunch was their first at the Baromi Centre in almost a year, due to the Covid pandemic, but for a number of reasons it was also the last official lunch of the Mirboo North Seniors Citizens Centre Inc.
In making the decision to wind up their incorporated association structure at their AGM in December, one of the immediate questions was what to do with the funds prudently raised and managed over the 48 year existence of the organisation. Despite having been very active in pursuing its aim of enhancing the well-being of local senior citizens, and managing the Baromi Centre to that end, the organisation had frugally saved more than $40,000.
In discussion with the Community Foundation, the Committee, including Lorraine Humphreys (President), Ron McNabb (Treasurer) and Margaret Peters (Secretary) asked whether they could ensure these funds would continue to enhance the well-being of local seniors, even in the absence of their incorporated structure. They were pleased to confirm their understanding that Mirboo North Senior Citizens could set up a sub-fund within the Community Foundation, and that this structure would ensure that the Mirboo North Senior Citizens Centre’s $40,000 could, once donated to the Community Foundation, be targeted at this aim each year, forever.
Fast forward a couple of months, to last week’s lunch, Lorraine Humphreys thanked the members for their input in making the tough decision at December’s AGM to wind up their wonderful organisation and to set up Mirboo North Community Seniors Fund to take their vision forward. Lorraine then gave a cheque to the value of $37,500 to Ruth Rogan, EO of the Community Foundation, as the first donation into this fund.
‘I am delighted to accept this significant donation from the Mirboo North Seniors, which represents the fruits of decades of volunteerism and fundraising, of social connection and fun,’ said Ruth Rogan. ‘While this is a poignant moment for all of you who have been involved over so many years, the creation of the Mirboo North Community Seniors Fund will be wonderful legacy.”
During the lunch, Ruth spoke a bit more about how each year the earnings from this fund will be used in projects to support the mental and physical well-being of our senior citizens. She explained that this will be achieved by an annual call for submissions to use these funds in programs, events, equipment or services for our seniors. Two local organisations are already looking at how they can collaborate and work within their own structures to ensure that the opportunity for Seniors to gather for lunch is not lost. Watch this space.
If you are interested in finding out more about how to have a positive impact in our community through donating funds or making a bequest, you can chat to Ruth Rogan at the Mirboo North & District Community Foundation, at 96 Ridgway or on 0418 301 092.