The Rotary Club of Emerald & District has been awarded the Emerald Village Association’s inaugural Community Group of the Year award at the EVA’s annual community meeting held at the Hills Hub on 24 November. 
In accepting the award, President of the Rotary Club of Emerald and District Shalini Penny said she was thrilled the club had been acknowledged for its work in supporting the local community.
“I am delighted to accept this award on behalf of our members, many of whom dedicate many hours each week making a positive difference in the lives of people who live in Emerald and surrounding suburbs,” Shalini said.
“It is wonderful to be recognised for our work which is vast, covering the young, the elderly, schools and the community as a whole.
“While we haven’t been able to run many of our programs and signature fund-raising events during the past two years because of COVID restrictions, we have continued to support the community during these challenging times, in particular, helping those impacted by the pandemic and recent storms.”
Here’s a snapshot of how the club is making a positive difference
  • Organising community fund-raising events such as the Kids Fun Run with Thomas, All American Car Display and monthly Trash 2 Treasure market. Since it began in 2002, the fun run has raised over $671,000.
  • Distributing more than $15,000 in grocery, fuel and pharmacy vouchers to locals impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Supporting young people through organisation of the annual Deb Ball and running Youth Driver Awareness programs.
  • Running an annual speech contest for local primary schools to build confidence and develop the public speaking skills of the students.
  • Hosting local community awards such as Pride of Workmanship and the McLeod Murphy Memorial Scholarship Fund, which assists students with their medical studies.
  • Many international initiatives, including End Polio Now, Wheelchairs for Kids, Interplast, Rotarians Against Malaria and Shelterbox.
(l-r) Rotary Club of Emerald and District President Shalini Penny, Past President Vicki Van Den Bergen and Cardinia Shire Mayor Cr Jeff Springfield.