Benalla Ensign

Towns aim to keep beating records

- By Simon Ruppert

The combined population of Devenish and Dookie would not crack the top 250 most populated areas in regional Victoria.

However, somehow the towns managed to raise the fifth highest total of all regional towns in the state on Good Friday: $100,000.

So how did an area with a population of 525 people raise more than the combined total for places such as Shepparton, Warrnamboo­l and Castlemain­e?

Dookie and Devenish Good Friday committee president Paul Durden said it was down to the generosity of local people and businesses.

That might be slightly humble, as the volunteer committee itself, offering its time and dedication to hold Good Friday Appeal events throughout the year, plays as big a part.

“We’re a group of dedicated volunteers, but without the support of all the local businesses we wouldn’t have achieved what we did,” Mr Durden said.

"And it’s the whole community that did this, not just individual­s.

“We have a couple of really big fundraiser­s during the year.

“We have a lamb drive in October. We got 144 sheep donated form all the local farmers. Without them it wouldn’t have been successful.

“That alone made more than $30,000.

“We have an online auction through Kevin Hicks Real Estate that ran for a week and it had 170 items donated to it.

“Those ranged from dog food to accommodat­ion packages, hay bales, kids’ toys and much more. “That brought in around $33,000. “We also had sausage sizzles at Bunnings, a barefoot bowls fundraiser, the local dog trials donated all the entry fees and we held a raffle in Yarrawonga.”

With a starting point of around $63,000 the area’s fundraisin­g on Good Friday kicked in another $37,000.

That alone would have placed Devenish and Dookie above many higher populated areas.

"We had the big show and shine in Dookie on Good Friday,“Mr Durden said.

“We had Living Here donate $2000. They came over and had a great time.

“As well as that we had three local musicians donate their time. They played through to about 8pm that night.

“We also had raffles and tin rattling by the Devenish and Dookie CFAs.

“We have some great community members that support us extremely well.”

Mr Durden said for each of the

past three years Devenish and Dookie had beaten the figure for the previous year.

And he hopes that will continue next year.

“Four years ago we raised around $62,000. Then we hit $74,000, then we hit $80,000. This year it was $100,000,” he said.

“To do more in 2023 would be fantastic."

 ?? ?? Community: There were plenty of bikes and cars on show at Dookie on Good Friday.
Community: There were plenty of bikes and cars on show at Dookie on Good Friday.
 ?? ?? Young Leevi Graham had a great time on Good Friday at the Devenish and Dookie show ‘n’ shine.
Young Leevi Graham had a great time on Good Friday at the Devenish and Dookie show ‘n’ shine.

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