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Dromana hits $300,000 in Ritchies donations
Dromana Fire Brigade recently notched up more than $300,000 in donations via the Ritchies Community Benefit Program – making it the highest individual CFA brigade recipient of the local community fundraising program.
“This unique program has provided significant financial support to our brigade through the generosity of community members who choose Dromana Fire Brigade as the recipient of a percentage of their shop which is donated directly to us,” said Brigade Captain Timothy Desmond.
The brigade’s most recent purchase with monies raised via the program was a Mazda Crew Cab, one of 5 cars the brigade has been able to purchase since 1999, at a total cost of just under $200,000.
Ritchies CEO Fred Harrison was invited to hand over the keys to the new vehicle at Dromana Fire Station, where he was also given a tour by the members and was impressed by what he saw.
"I am really proud of our association with Dromana CFA,” Mr Harrison said.
“From the day we launched our CB program, the local brigade was incredibly proactive in the community. I am delighted we have been able to support them in a meaningful way.”
Timothy said the new car supports rescue calls within the Peninsula and Westernport Group boundaries and is also used by members to attend meetings and training which includes locations such as VEMTC (Sale Campus), a 500km round trip.
Both Ritchies and Dromana Fire Brigade have long connections to the Mornington Peninsula. The brigade was established in 1929 and is today a full volunteer and rescue brigade with 60 members, responding to some 300 calls a year.
Ritchies traces its origins back to 1870 when it was Ritchies General Store in Frankston. Today it is one of the nation’s largest independent grocery chains with 77 stores across the eastern seaboard.
The Ritchies Community Benefit Program started in 1993. Timothy said it had allowed the Dromana brigade to concentrate on its core business of response and training members rather than worry about fundraising.
“The ability to make significant purchases during this time, not to mention extensions to the current station to the tune of $85,000, has only been achievable through this substantial initiative,” he said.
“We have also purchased specialist equipment for our rescue appliance and numerous smaller items such as duraline hose for our firefighting appliances, PPC fan, breathing apparatus for the Rescue and Tanker, dress uniforms, safety equipment and general station equipment and furnishings to name a few.”