After 25 years, Wodonga’s Vietnam Veterans and Associates Club is no more, having expanded and re-branded to become the Wodonga Services Club.
Club vice-president David Swain, who was a founding member of the club, said they were celebrating their new name and future direction with a family fun day this Saturday.
He said money raised at the event would support the Albury Wodonga Regional Cancer Centre and Headspace Albury Wodonga.
“We’re a community based and community minded organisation so we wanted to raise money to help out and get people knowing about the change,” he said.
“We’re having a jumping castle, police officers will be coming hopefully with a highway patrol car for the children to climb all over and we’ll have balloons, face painting and a fire truck.”
A raffle of prizes donated by Border businesses will also be on offer.
Mr Swain said after 25 years being the Vietnam Veterans and Associates Club it was time for a new name, the Wodonga Services Club, to reflect its desire to include more of the community.
He said the club now can include police, fire, ambulance, SES and Defence force members.
“We’re a community club, we’ve always been veteran and army based but we’ve extended that to a lot of other people in the community,” he said. “We were already headed that way, it’s a natural direction for the club to take.”
Mr Swain said the group was always looking for new members and anyone could come along, with police, SES, paramedics and defence members entitled to full membership including voting rights.
“It’s very important to have that connection with like-minded people,” he said.
“You go to a normal hotel these days and no one talks to each other.
“Here also gives paramedics and police and others who have a hardy job a place to go.
“We’re hoping we’ll be around another 25 years, though I’m not sure I will be!”
Mr Swain said emergency services had been invited on Saturday, along with the general public, so they could see what the club was about.
A fundraising goal has not been set for the event, and Mr Swain said unfortunately because the event clashes with other functions on the Border like the Wodonga Show, they might not get as many people along as they would like to see attend.
“This year will be a real learning curve,” he said.
“Even if we just get a few hundred for each, that’s better for nothing and will hopefully help them out.
“Who knows though – we might try and make it an annual event to celebrate.”