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Family fun day to celebrate partnership

Published 31/08/2012

Victoria State Emergency Service (SES) and Bendigo Bank think a new car is cause for celebration, and everyone is invited to join in the fun.

The Portarlington and Drysdale Community Bank Branches of the Bendigo Bank have donated more than $57,000 to the SES Bellarine Unit for a new vehicle to help them keep the community safe. The new four-wheel drive will be handed over on Sunday, and both parties have decided to throw a party for the occasion.

Running from 11 am to 2 pm at the Drysdale Railway Station, the celebration will include a free sausage sizzle, face painting, balloon sculpting, live music and giveaways.

SES volunteers will also provide a live rescue demonstration for the crowd.

The Bellarine SES Unit is run by volunteers who give their time to support the community in times of storm, flood and disaster.

Deputy Controller Rachel Vella said the unit had been trying to raise money for a new four-wheel drive for three years, and had expected to be saving for three more.

“Before now we’ve only had the one four-wheel drive that can tow a boat or trailer,” she said.

“If we needed more than one at a time volunteers would need to use their own car.

“Our new vehicle makes it possible to send out one crew with a full trailer of equipment and have another ready to attend to small jobs and do reconnaissance.

“We can get through jobs quicker and help the community in a timelier manner.

“We feel like this is a reward for our volunteers for all their hard work. We’re very thankful to Bendigo Bank for helping us achieve our goals. This has lifted a weight off our shoulders.”

Senior Manager of the Bendigo Bank’s Portarlington Branch, Ian Faulkner, said grants were given out annually to community organisations.

“We were looking to support a service that benefits all of the Bellarine Peninsula and the SES was perfect. We’re very happy to be supporting the great work they’re doing.”