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Dances, recipes raise brigade funds
Last week the Newstead Fire Brigade auxiliary held another of their bi-monthly old-time fundraising dances. Dress: neat, casual.
We also took the opportunity to launch our cookbook as a further revenue raiser. The initial print run of 250 copies has almost sold out already.
Story by Joan Sartori
In 1995 we took over the running of the dances from the Newstead Lions Club. Alan Burgess, Maurie Heagney and Les Leathbridge came on board as our doormen, raffle ticket sellers, sweepers and furniture movers. Sadly Les is no longer with us but Alan and Maurie are still part of our team today.
We have a regular band of helpers who come along prior to functions and help us set up the hall. To all who have helped us over the years, we say a very sincere thank you. We simply wouldn’t be able to do it without you.
The Yandoit Old time Band, The Rythmaires, Jack Heagney’s Music, Dance On, Armstrongs and Family Rhythm are just some of the bands which have set our feet a-tapping over the years. On a good night we will get about 150 people through the door.
Suppertime is always very popular with our dancers and we are kept very busy in the kitchen at this time. Afterwards we even manage to get a bit of rhythm into doing the dishes as we listen to the strains of the lovely music drifting into the kitchen.
How we began
The auxiliary was established with 22 members in January 1981 following the bushfires which had ravaged the district the year before. A collection was taken at a community meeting and the auxiliary started with a bank balance of $58.55.
Today we have a membership of 19 and seven of these members are original founding members.
Over the years we have run raffles with jewellery, decorated cakes, food hampers and Easter eggs as prizes. We have also catered for field days, fire brigade demonstrations, seminars, weddings, clearing sales, birthdays, funerals, car club visits and always lay on a light supper at the dances.
Catering for functions is more than just providing food. It is also about offering support with the planning and making sure that the day is a stress-free and enjoyable occasion for all concerned. There are also those sad times when our patrons need a reviving cuppa or a hug or both. We are always there to offer comfort and support to our patrons and their families when the need arises.
We have raised well over $55,000 with the money going to a brigade-owned tanker, twin-cab ute,a quick fill, a shed, a toolbox, radios, a photocopier, a video player and television, catering equipment. Funds are currently earmarked for a quick-attack vehicle.
We have also made donations to SES and the Burns Unit at The Alfred Hospital
We received generous sponsorship from the Maldon and District Community Bank Branch which covered all production costs of the recipe book. That means that every cent we make is pure profit for the brigade. Thanks very much to them.
We appreciate the time and effort our members and friends put into sending recipes to us. The recipes were both interesting and varied and we hope we have produced a book that has something for everyone.
Thank you also to all the organisations in the community who are very generous with donations.
All the work and effort is always so satisfying when we are able to support our brigade financially. In the 32 years since this auxiliary was formed, our commitment to the ongoing support of our brigade has endured, as have the friendships we have formed with each other.
We are a small friendly group and new members are most welcome.