$1 mil­lion for Bower­bird

Euroa Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - By WILL MUR­RAY

EUROA op­por­tu­nity shop The Bower­bird earned its mil­lionth dol­lar last week.

The mile­stone was cel­e­brated with a party out the front of the shop, in­clud­ing a bar­be­cue, live mu­sic, and prizes for the lucky shop­pers who spent the magic mil­lionth dol­lar in store.

The op shop has been open since 2008, and since that time has been run by a group of vol­un­teers as a fundraiser for Euroa Health.

When The Bower­bird first opened its doors, no one could’ve pre­dicted it would be such an in­cred­i­ble suc­cess, ac­cord­ing to cur­rent co­or­di­na­tor Lor­raine Kubeil.

“Back in 2008 the shop was called ‘Bower­bird Bou­tique’, and it sold only a rel­a­tively small num­ber of quite up­mar­ket items.

“We’ve since had to drop the ‘bou­tique’ part of the name be­cause the pop­u­lar­ity of the place means it doesn’t quite fit the bou­tique tag, and we sell all sorts of things.

“We have both visi­tors and do­na­tions from all over the place. Our rep­u­ta­tion has grown, and peo­ple come to us.”

The Bower­bird has be­come such a large shop that it now leases the shed be­hind it to store all the do­nated items that sim­ply can­not fit into the shop at this mo­ment in time.

Reach­ing $ 1 mil­lion is an in­cred­i­ble achieve­ment for what be­gan as a hum­ble op shop run by a 42-per­son strong vol­un­teer team.

It is also an amaz­ing achieve­ment for the com­mu­nity of Euroa and sur­rounds who have sup­ported it, and in turn, Euroa Health.

Richard McGee­han is a Euroa Health board mem­ber.

Mr McGee­han said the shop was vi­tal in rais­ing the funds re­quired for equip­ment and infrastructure for the town’s health­care fa­cil­i­ties.

“About 75 cents from every dol­lar made at the shop ends up go­ing to Euroa Health, which is ab­so­lutely crit­i­cal to the op­er­a­tions of the hos­pi­tal and aged care fa­cil­i­ties.

“The op shop alone ended up do­nat­ing around $700,000 to the Gran­iteHill build­ing ap­peal. With­out that money it’s hard to imag­ine we would’ve had the fa­cil­ity ready when we did.

“This is thanks to the fan­tas­tic group of vol­un­teers do a fan­tas­tic job in mak­ing this place the great suc­cess it has been.”

The op shop has been crit­i­cal not only in the com­ple­tion of the new Gran­iteHill build­ing, but also keep­ing the old aged care fa­cil­ity up to stan­dard.

The Bower­bird is not only of great ben­e­fit to Euroa Health, Ms Kubeil ex­plained, but also to the com­mu­nity as a whole, many of whom see it as more than an op shop.

“A lot of peo­ple within the com­mu­nity come in here for a chat and to meet up with oth­ers.

“It’s a great so­cial hub for a lot of peo­ple.

“We also do­nate a lot of things to the less for­tu­nate within our com­mu­nity, or those who have a spe­cific need.”

The work of The Bower­bird is not over yet, and both Euroa Health and the vol­un­teer team are hop­ing it can con­tinue to op­er­ate as a suc­cess fundraiser for years to come.

All do­na­tions re­main very much wel­come.

WIN­NER, WIN­NER: Wendy Korsten (left) was the lucky win­ner of the main prize. Wendy, pic­tured with Euroa Health board mem­ber Nola Dud­ley, has been in Euroa a lit­tle over 12 months and said she ‘loved the town’s com­mu­nity spirit’.

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