AFTER 60 years of service – and donating more than $4 million – members of the Southern Peninsula Community Fund (SPCF) have good reason to celebrate.
Volunteer David Wills said Rosebud Rotary Club established the fund in 1959 to support families, elderly and cancer patients.
In 1971 the fund expanded its operations to become the first meals on wheels service on the Mornington Peninsula. In 1975 it bought a shop and launched the Rye Opportunity Shop at 2141 Point Nepean Road, which has been a mainstay of financial support for those needing help in the community.
In 1997, when the shires of Flinders, Hastings and Mornington amalgamated to form the Mornington Peninsula Shire, the shire took over the meals on wheels service with the SPCF continuing to provide financial assistance.
Now, the fund focuses on providing money to charitable and youth organisations, including Rosebud Hospital, emergency services, schools, aged and disadvantaged services, and in advancing youth programs on the southern peninsula.
It distributes more than $200,000 a year and during its lifetime has donated more than $4 million.
Volunteers run the shop Monday to Saturday, with extended hours during holiday season.
“All the volunteers are proud of the fact that more than 90 per cent of all funds raised are donated back to the local community,” Mr Wills said.
Prospective volunteers can call into the shop, which accepts donations of saleable items.