The club meets every Wednesday evening, with the usual attendance being about 30 of its almost 40 members.
We raise many thousands of dollars each year, mainly from garden beds, the Shepparton Show and catering for outdoor events. Each year we sponsor a student to the National Youth Science Forum camp, Rotary Youth Leadership Award camp, support 6x TAFE scholarships and award the Graeme Cross scholarship to a year 6 student.
The current President is Clay Doyle, who is ably assisted by Meg Pethybridge as Secretary and Geoff Maunder as Treasurer. The club was originally chartered in 1974.
The club held it s first meeting on March 16th 1974 at a gala dinner attended by 370 people, including 28 charter members, visiting Rotarians, partners, local dignitaries and guests. It was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Shepparton.
Max Lincoln was the first president, who held office until July 1975. One of its first projects was an ‘Outdoor Exhibition”. This allowed the club to disburse $2133 to 14 different groups and charities at the end of its first year.
The two large fund raisers across the years have been the Giant Water Slide and The Craft and Produce Market. The 9 metre high water slide was built in 1981-2 under the management of Clyde Young.
Its construction was based on direct technical and labour contributions from members as well as local contractors, with $68,000 either borrowed from Rotarians or bank loans guaranteed by Rotarians to cover initial expenses.
The water-fed slide was 67 metres long with 4 or 5 major bends that delivered a fun ride down and into a 1m deep pool. It was a thrilling ride for children during hot weather and provided an important tourist attraction for the city.
This proved to be an instant success, with takings of over $30,000 in the first season and loans being repaid in 3 years and thereafter raising many thousands of charitable dollars for the club. It closed in 1996-97, having reached the end of its useful life.
The Craft and Produce Market replaced the water slide in 1997. It entailed the organisation of a monthly market where individual traders were charged a fee for their space at a common market place, namely the Queens Garden in Shepparton. The club also sold hamburgers, sausages and drinks from its food van parked at the site.
Profits from this venture, all added to the club’s charity account have totalled nearly $400,000 (inflation adjusted) up to 2014. Fund raising, involving catering for outdoor events and car raffles continue to the present.