Posted by Cheryl Pisterman
November is Foundation Month and our Glenferrie Rotary has just received some fabulous news.  Members may recall the news way back in August of a planned project to convert an existing community hall in Sarsfield, East Gippsland, into a bushfire evacuation centre.  The news is that this Global Grant has been successful. 

The project led by District 9800 Rotarian Mark Stephens and the RC of Brighton North with co-sponsorship by Rotary clubs of Glenferrie and Traralgon has attracted international funding with the pledging of funds totalling USD16,000 from the Rotary Club of Taipai-Tund and Rotary District 3522 Taiwan. This adds to the USD10,000 awarded by the Rotary District 9800 Foundation Committee and a further AUD14,000 awarded by the District 9800 Bushfire Relief Committee. 
This project will give Community members a safe evacuation centre in a future fire event and allow Service and other organisations somewhere to work within the community after any future event.  It will allow the Community as a whole to be fire ready and trained in CPR.

With the destruction of ninety percent of homes in the community during the fires in December 2019, many community members are wary of rebuilding because of predictions of increasing droughts and subsequent fires as a consequence of global warming. The training therefore will be extremely valuable for their own peace of mind.  A well equipped community centre will improve community cohesiveness by providing a meeting point and community hub for use of local sporting clubs, schools and community gatherings.  It is expected that this will increase confidence by community members in the future of Sarsfield leading to sustainable economic development.
A lot of work goes into obtaining such a grant and Mark Stephens from Brighton North and District 9820 PDG Janne Speirs should be congratulated in the success in obtaining this Global Grant.  The above table provides an example how contributions from Clubs are matched by Foundation funds to provide a considerable amount towards an important community project. We will ensure that our members are kept updated on the progress of this project and revisit Sarsfield and East Gippsland to see the results.
Cheryl Pisterman