By Kirra Grimes

THE Wonthaggi Lions Club has expressed its thanks following a $5000 donation from the Wonthaggi Club for bushfire relief efforts.
Presented last week in the form of a large cheque, the funds have gone into an account at the ANZ Wonthaggi branch created specifically for the purchase of fencing materials to help East Gippsland farmers get back on their feet.
The proceeds of the Lions’ Easter raffle will also be deposited into the account, after which, Wonthaggi Lions members will travel to the Orbost/Buchan region to buy fencing materials directly from local hardware businesses, to ensure communities in need benefit in more ways than one.
With help from the team at ANZ Wonthaggi, who’ve been promoting the fundraiser to their customers, the Lions are already well on the way to reaching the $10,000 mark, which would buy approximately 2000 steel or wooden fencing posts.
Lions Club members Col and Pam Wilmott said the Wonthaggi Club was by far the most generous donor to the account (so far), and it had “made their day” to get such a big boost to the balance.
Melissa Beveridge of the Wonthaggi Club said the staff and board of directors were keen to help out because many had direct or family connections to the bushfire crisis – some had family members who’d lost their homes, others were volunteers with the Wonthaggi CFA. The venue raised just over $16,000 in their own bushfire campaign, running throughout the month of January, and shared this between the Lions and the Wonthaggi CFA.
Likewise, ANZ Wonthaggi branch manager Zoe Tomich said her team was proud to support local community groups and had built up a great relationship with the Lions over the last few years.
If you’d like to donate to the Lions’ fencing materials fund, head into the ANZ Wonthaggi branch or make an electronic transfer to the Lions Club of Wonthaggi Inc East Gippsland Fencing Account. BSB: 013 923, account number: 474 061 155.