Every October, the Rotary Club of Melbourne and up to 150 of the club’s most dedicated members take to the streets of Melbourne to support Australia’s biggest one-day bike ride, United Energy Around the Bay.
For the past 15 years the Melbourne Rotary Club have played a vital role in bringing the event to life by providing volunteers who offer much-needed support and encouragement to up to 10,000 riders on their journey around Port Philip Bay.
They are one of the many dedicated community groups, from sporting clubs to Men’s Sheds, who roll up their sleeves each and every year to support the event – one that would not be possible without the help of up to 500 volunteers.
In exchange for their assistance, Bicycle Network provides fundraising opportunities for community groups who support the event through volunteering. And for every volunteer they provide, Bicycle Network makes a donation to their not for profit organisation or charity.
These volunteers assist across a variety of important roles, including route marshals, SAG drivers, rest area assistants and team leader positions – like Trevor Nink, Chris Wang and Jim Orchard from the Melbourne Rotary Club, who work tirelessly in the months leading up to the event, taking on the important role of recruiting and coordinating their team of up to 150 people.
Their efforts are supported by neighbouring branches including Port Melbourne, e-Club, Williamstown, Albert Park, Sorrento and Yarraville.
The funds raised by the Rotary through their efforts on Around the Bay goes directly to The Smith Family to support their Learning for Life program. This program aims to create better futures for disadvantaged children in Australia, enabling them to reach their full educational potential.
The club supplements this fundraising through their own initiatives such as raffles and auctions, and in 2019 alone they managed to raise an incredible $21,000 for the Learning for Life program.
Whilst fundraising for The Smith Family is the main motivation for the club’s involvement, club organiser Trevor Nink said that they appreciate the opportunity Around the Bay provides for the club to work as a team and support the bike riding community.
“The event provides the club with an opportunity to assist in the running of an important community event. It enables us to work with other Rotary clubs, involve our family members, be active within the community and share social time with our members.
“It gives us a sense of making a contribution to society and working with others to achieve a common goal," says Trevor.
Despite the challenges brought by COVID-19 and the subsequent cancellation of United Energy Around the Bay for 2020, the Rotary have managed to adapt their operations in order to keep their programs and activities alive under difficult circumstances.
“The club has been able to re-invent itself and has gone online instead of meeting physically”, Trevor said.
“We have not only kept most of our projects running but added even more!”
The Melbourne Rotary Club currently have over 80 programs supporting communities both locally and abroad and are celebrating 100 years since their establishment in Australia. Some of their current projects include End Hepatitis Now, Pacific Islands Vaccinations, Bushfire Relief and End Trachoma.
Are you a part of a not for profit organisation or charity interested in doing some fundraising? Chat to us about how you can get involved with our events 2021.GET IN TOUCH