Community honoured for its generous support of smallest members

PROUD: Wodonga Lions Club Phil Wilkins, Good Friday Appeal executive director Anne Randall and Ted Thompson of the Rotary Club of Albury. Picture: SOPHIE BOYD

PROUD: Wodonga Lions Club Phil Wilkins, Good Friday Appeal executive director Anne Randall and Ted Thompson of the Rotary Club of Albury. Picture: SOPHIE BOYD

Border volunteers and the wider community have been recognised with plaques for their consistent support of the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal. 

Appeal executive director Anne Randall said the Albury and Wodonga communities had raised $2.5million combined in 30 years.

“It’s a very generous community,” she said. “They compare very favourably with the rest of the state.”

Ms Randall met with volunteers who “galvanize the community” from  Albury and Wodonga State Emergency Service, Rural Fire Service, Country Fire Service, Lions clubs, Albury Rotary Club and the Albury and Border Rescue Squad.

Julie Wilkins of the Wodonga Lions Club said there was a healthy border rivalry when it came to fundraising totals.

Deputy group captain of the southern border RFS team Ian Avage said it’s great for emergency service to be involved in the community.

“People who volunteer in these type of organisations tend to be that way inclined to want to help not just in emergencies but in the community,” he said.

While Wodonga CFA firefighter Emma Rolfe said behind the uniform, they were just people.

“When you hear the Royal Children’s Hospital it’s really ‘there but the grace of god go I,’ most of us have children or know someone who has used the hospital so it’s important,” she said.

Growing up in Shepparton, Ms Randall knows first hand how vital the service is for rural Australians, having seen her own sister rushed to the Melbourne hospital.