The bushfires that ravaged regional Victoria earlier this year have paved the way for a strengthened bond between two Lions Clubs and their communities.
The Riverside Lions Club raised $6500 as part of a nationwide Lions Club relief campaign. It chose to allocate the funds towards the Lions Club in Corryong, Victoria; one of the hardest-hit areas from the bushfires.
Riverside Lions Club treasurer Robin Phillips said it was very rare for a Lions Club to donate large funds to a specific club or area.
IN OTHER NEWS:
"This is the first time we've actually gone to another club and formed a relationship to try and get our donation to go to the root of the cause," he said.
The idea came about when the club contacted a former member who moved to regional Victoria.
"He [the former member] contacted the Corryong Club and it grew from there," Mr Phillips said.
Funds donated have gone towards 90 two-course meals that have been cooked for BlazeAid volunteers rebuilding farm fencing.
"There's miles of fencing that needs rebuilding ... there's outbuildings and things like that which need to be rebuilt too," he said.
"The other thing is they're going into planting season, they need seeds and fertiliser and they're still handing out food parcels to people in the area who don't have much of an income because of the fire."
Vouchers will also be given to volunteers helping recovering communities.
"I received a letter from the Corryong Lions just a couple of days ago and they were very grateful for the donation," Mr Phillips said.
"While they do things like putting up fences and helping the locals we might continue to support them going forward."
Mr Phillips said the newfound relationship between the clubs was a reminder of the long-lasting impacts the bushfires had on regional communities.
"It was probably fortunate we contacted the club, now we have a better understanding of the requirements following a disaster," he said.