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Sorop­ti­mists dis­band but want fundrais­ing store to stay open

Southern Riverina news - - FRONT PAGE - By So­phie Burge

Fin­ley Sorop­ti­mists has de­cided to dis­band due to a lack of numbers, and mem­bers ex­pect the lo­cal op­por­tu­nity shop they man­age will close un­less an­other group can be found to take it on.

The well known op-shop, Shabby to Chic, has been op­er­at­ing un­der Soroptimist man­age­ment since 2007 and raises im­por­tant funds for com­mu­nity projects and groups.

Soroptimist act­ing sec­re­tary and shop man­ager Mar­garet McLeod said it was with much dis­may that the hand­ful of re­main­ing mem­bers de­cided to cease op­er­at­ing.

But she is hope­ful the store can be saved from clos­ing.

‘‘We are calling for a com­mu­nity group to put up their hands, come in and take over the shop.

‘‘Sorop­ti­mists has been in ex­is­tence in Fin­ley for 35 years dur­ing which time we’ve sup­ported many or­gan­i­sa­tions and peo­ple in need,’’ said Mrs McLeod, who is one of the re­main­ing four ac­tive char­ter mem­bers.

‘‘Some of our big do­na­tions we’ve made re­cently in­clude $20,000 to the Fin­ley Apex Club for the new com­mu­nity com­plex and sports centre and $10,000 for the Fight Can­cer Foun­da­tion’s new Al­bury ac­com­mo­da­tion centre.

‘‘We’ve also made count­less do­na­tions to in­di­vid­u­als who are in cri­sis, whether it be health rea­sons or, for ex­am­ple, some­one’s house has burnt down.’’

Mrs McLeod said the shop is of great value to the com­mu­nity, ad­ding that it would be ‘‘a shame’’ if it had to close.

‘‘Al­most all our funds raised stay di­rectly within the Fin­ley and district and we want to keep it that way, so we hope a group can as­sist by tak­ing it over.

‘‘Man­ag­ing the shop would in­clude sort­ing, clean­ing and sell­ing the prod­ucts do­nated by the com­mu­nity.’’ There are 13 Fin­ley Sorop­ti­mists mem­bers, how­ever Mrs McLeod said they are hav­ing trou­ble fill­ing the ex­ec­u­tive roles.

The cur­rent ex­ec­u­tive con­sists of Marj Maxwell (pres­i­dent), Elaine Rees (sec­re­tary) and Joanne Dean (treasurer). Mrs Rees, Lola Wil­son and Mar­garet Bar­ber are the other three char­ter mem­bers.

‘‘We are very dis­ap­pointed we have to dis­band but we’ve had a great time with one an­other and no doubt we’ll keep in touch and main­tain our friend­ships,’’ Mrs McLeod said.

‘‘Ser­vice clubs are great for the town and great for the peo­ple who are in them.

‘‘We are very grate­ful to all those who have sup­ported the shop in so many ways, es­pe­cially the vol­un­teers; with­out them we could not have func­tioned.

‘‘Dur­ing this last two weeks we are dis­tribut­ing our re­main­ing funds to many or­gan­i­sa­tions in the town, which we hope will ben­e­fit the whole com­mu­nity.

‘‘We will be hold­ing a storewide sale from De­cem­ber 14 . . . ev­ery­thing half price and there are great bar­gains for ev­ery­one, es­pe­cially be­fore Christ­mas.’’

Any group in­ter­ested in tak­ing over the shop can con­tact Mrs Maxwell on 5883 3080 or Mrs McLeod 5883 9432. The shop will close on De­cem­ber 31 if there is no in­ter­est.

RIGHT: Mar­garet McLeod (left) and Lola Wil­son are calling on an­other group to man­age the op-shop.

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