After injecting almost $20,000 into the Pambula Hospital from one big day of motor madness, the Pambula Motorfest committee is in the running for NSW Volunteer Team of the Year.
Motorfest committee president Brett Hansford said they were meeting on Monday night when they got a call telling them they had won the South East/Southern Inland Volunteer Team of the Year award, and were now in the running for the state's Volunteer Team of the Year.
“It was fantastic, we actually couldn’t believe it at first and thought someone was having us on,” he said.
The committee of 13 works 10 months of the year to put on the summer event, which this year attracted around 6000 people to Pambula Sportsground.
While giving the much needed financial support to the Pambula Hospital Auxiliary, the committee also gave $1000 to the Barrett Family of Wyndham, who are fundraising for a wheelchair accessible vehicle for their daughter Colleen, who has Cerebral Palsy (see additional stories on fundraising for Colleen on page 39).
The dollars spent on the day also flowed into other community groups and businesses for catering, raffles and other stalls.
Committee member Alan Madden said all but three of the committee work full time, including Mr Hansford, and many have families.
“We give our time freely to the committee. It’s a good thing to breathe a bit of life into the community,” he said.
“Jess (Porter) is a young mum, she works full time and balances her time as a secretary and deputy chairman. She does a great job.”
A former volunteer on the Merimbula Chamber of Commerce, the mortgage broker said without volunteers “we’d all be worse off”.
And he’s right. Volunteers are estimated to be worth more than $2 billion to the NSW economy annually.
“Volunteering is vitally important and there are a great number of groups in the local area, not just ours, that do fantastic jobs,” he said.
“Without it I think some of the institutions that benefit from it would struggle, because government funding isn’t there.”
He joined the committee after seeing the event thrive.
“I saw what a great job they did with limited personnel and we hope to grow it every year and make it different.
“Whilst we have the main structure set for 2014 we are also doing different things and are getting more sponsors and vendors involved.
Mr Hansford agrees.
“The committee is dedicated; everyone has a role and everyone is good at something.”
He said feedback from the last show had been “brilliant”.
“We’re out there to make a difference, and at the end of the day it’s the community that benefits.”
He welcomed queries from sponsors and vendors for next year’s show to be held on Sunday, April 13, 2014.
“We’re looking for sponsors for 2014 and looking now.
On Monday Member for Bega Andrew Constance congratulated the Motorfest mob when the announcement came that they had won the South East/Southern Inland Volunteer team of the year.
“It is important to acknowledge those who sacrifice their time for the benefit of the broader community”, Mr Constance said.
“As the local Volunteer Team of the Year, Pambula Motor Fest Inc, is now on the shortlist for the state award which will be announced in December.”
The NSW Volunteer of the Year Award is an annual awards program run by The Centre for Volunteering.
The awards acknowledge the outstanding efforts of volunteers in NSW and promote the importance of volunteering.
For a full list of Motorfest contacts go to http://www.pambula-motorfest.com/