(Story Courtesy MBNews)
THANKING their customers for helping to build the community was the focus of the second Bendigo Community Bank gathering last week during their 10 year and $1 million celebrations. Chair of the Bank Board Alan Price said without their strong customer base they would not be holding the celebration. “Rosewood and districts have embraced the community bank concept and we are very proud to have returned such a massive amount of money back into this community.” “And it’s thanks to our customer who have brought their business to us and allowed us to in turn support the community,” he said. Many of those community groups and customers were at the morning tea celebration, recognising what the support meant to them.
Cabanda Care has received a large amount of funding over the past decade from small grants to purchase items such as, electric beds and princess chairs, as well as supporting their activities and events. Most recently, and by far the largest single grant, Cabanda received a three year $30,000 sponsorship towards their recent refurbishment. General manager of Cabanda Liz Maloney was on hand to accept the final $10,000 installment cheque. “The funds that the bank has allocated to us has been well received by staff and residents as without their support we could not have achieved what we have to date, “she explained. “To have this sort of funding has greatly assisted us to upgrade  the hostel low care rooms into wonderful resident spaces they are today and we seriously appreciate that support.”
It was a similar story from both Rosewood and Marburg show society spokesperson who said funding for show balls, gazebos, display stands and general running of the shows has meant the quality of their events has kept up with the needs of the community. Wendye Gratton from Rosewood Scrub Historical Society said the funding they have received has allowed them to continue to collate local history. “Most of our funds have been directed towards either upgrades or replacement of equipment such as computers and storage and the bank support has been invaluable,” she said.
Treasurer of the Bank board, Eirys Heit said there are not too many groups they have not helped in the past 10 years. “We’ve assisted churches, schools, service and community groups, have formed partnerships to make larger projects come to life and know we have made a difference to the community with that funding,” she said. She added that they had provided funding to go to equipment purchases, building renovations, security systems, festivals and fetes and emergency service support to name a few.
Mayor Paul Pisasale summed it up when he spoke about the impact the bank has had on the community. “Bendigo is an effective and vital part of the community and in reality you can multiply any funds they distribute by 100 times by the time it is used in the community.” “When a community group receives a small grant to purchase equipment or assist with an event it can be a game changer for that group and enhances their community input,” he said. Celebrations included morning tea for locals and a chance for bank officials to hear first-hand on how their services and funds impacted the groups and customers.

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