All Arms for fundraiser

Benalla Ensign - - Front Page - By Si­mon Rup­pert

Be­nalla’s Farm­ers Arms Ho­tel has been recog­nised for its fundrais­ing ef­forts for The Royal Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal Good Fri­day Ap­peal after fin­ish­ing in the Top 10 for the Ho­tel and Club Award.

Ho­tels have been com­pet­ing for the top ti­tle for more than 60 years and this year the Farm­ers Arms fin­ished fifth after rais­ing an im­press­ing $26 511.

Lo­cal man ‘‘Tree’’ Wil­helme, who led the fundrais­ing ef­forts on be­half of the Farm­ers Arms, has been in­volved in the Good Fri­day Ap­peal for more than 30 years.

‘‘We’ve been fifth for quite a few years, it would be good to beat that,’’ Tree said.

‘‘This was my 30th year, and I reckon in that time we’ve raised at least $500 000. It’s an in­cred­i­ble amount from a small ho­tel like this.

‘‘We do a raf­fle and we have a big auc­tion on Good Fri­day, we take the fence out and do it out the back.

‘‘And we get all the do­na­tions from lo­cal busi­nesses, we get great sup­port from them.’’

The Farm­ers Arms was pre­sented with its award on Mon­day by Good Fri­day Ap­peal di­rec­tor Anne Ran­dall.

‘‘Re­gional com­mu­ni­ties are the back­bone of the ap­peal and have al­ways pro­vided a high level of sup­port,’’ Ms Ran­dall said.

‘‘Eight of the Top 10 ho­tels are from re­gional ar­eas, so that tells us that peo­ple in re­gional ar­eas are re­ally connected with The Royal Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal and we are so grate­ful to have their sup­port.’’

Ms Ran­dall said she would like to thank the man­age­ment, staff and pa­trons of the Farm­ers Arms for the fan­tas­tic re­sult.

‘‘The Royal Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal is a world-class fa­cil­ity, and the funds con­trib­uted by the Be­nalla com­mu­nity en­ables the hos­pi­tal to con­tinue their great work with money raised go­ing to­ward re­search, equip­ment, pa­tient and fam­ily-cen­tred care, and ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing,’’ Ms Ran­dall said.

Tree said fundrais­ing and or­gan­is­ing next year’s Good Fri­day Ap­peal had al­ready started.

‘‘We don’t stop fundrais­ing. As soon as Good Fri­day fin­ishes, we go again.’’

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