Lake Bolac - The Lake Bolac community has launched its newly commissioned Community Bus.
Due to overwhelming community support and generous financial contributions the successful Lake Bolac P-12 College and Community Bus fundraising appeal has now been concluded.
In less than 11 months the appeal raised a very impressive $56,267.98 enabling the bus purchase, on road costs and sign-writing.
The community can now proudly get on board their own 24 seat mini bus which was officially launched by the appeal committee, sponsors, students and community members in a morning tea celebration at the Lake Bolac P-12 College.
Appeal Co-ordinator Karen McIntyre spoke of the achievement of owning a valuable and long awaited community asset.
"This community has always wanted their own mini-bus, it has been a goal in all our Community Action Plans," she said.
"The college also identified that it was spending between $7,000 - 10,000 each year on hiring buses and that investing these fees into purchasing and maintaining an actual vehicle would make good economic sense.
"With the help of Murray Jensen from the Central Grampians Local Learning and Employment Network in Ararat, who chipped in the first $4000, we formed a fundraising committee and started the appeal rolling".
College fundraisers accounted for 15 per cent of the final tally. These included the Adidas fun run, 'Mountain to Lake', and a gourmet food demonstration night. The Parents' Club baked and catered for the Victoria Police Blue Ribbon Foundation Grampians Ride to Remember, Southern Farming Systems workshop, Library opening day, Easter Yachting Regatta, a Bush Nursing Centre forum and the 'Somewhere to Fight For' musical (incidentally the East Bentleigh Primary School who performed the production also donated the proceeds of the show to the appeal).
Lake Bolac College students also contributed with selling chickens and calves, having a 'cook off', a barbecue and even donating their Bendigo School Banking commission. It was truly a team effort raising $8837.90
Local community groups and organisations donated 25 per cent of funds, personal and family contributions accounted for 5 per cent and corporate sponsors granted 55 per cent.
The major sponsors were GrainCorp $10,000, Pacific Hydro $7,500, Bendigo Community Bank Willaura-Lake Bolac $5,000, Gardiner Foundation/Foundation for Regional + Rural Renewal $5,000 and Central Grampians Local Learning and Employment Network (CGLLEN) $4,000.
Many groups will benefit from the bus including the Bush Nursing Centre clients, the information centre volunteers, the kindergarten, sports teams and especially rural students. The bus will also enhance the ability to supplement College curriculum and extra-curricular programs by being able to attend an increased range of venues at a reduced cost.
The bus will be locally managed for the local community through the college office. It is available immediately for hire to local community organisations, businesses and individuals. Please contact the college office on 5350 2302. There is a healthy list of bookings already which proves just how much the community appreciates and needs flexible transport options in the area.
The fundraising committee was formed following a Community Action Network meeting and consisted of Karen McIntyre (president Lake Bolac Development Association), Jenny Holdsworth (nurse manager Lake Bolac Bush Nursing Centre) and Gary White (principal Lake Bolac P-12 College).
"This has been a very positive project for the district," Ms McIntyre said.
"I hope that it inspires everyone to work together and lend a hand for many more great community projects."