Nine Country Fire Authority units and one State Emergeny Service unit each received $3000 from the Wallan, Kilmore and Broadford branches of the Bendigo Bank.
The grants were given by the Wallan and Kilmore community bank branches and Broadford Customer Service Centre at the bank’s annual Community Grants Celebration Night last week.
Over the past financial year, the bank has given out a total of $300,000 to 83 different community groups and have ticked over the $3 million mark in total donations.
The Kilmore and District Hospital received a $60,000 grant at the grants night, which was attended by more than 240 people at Kilmore Trackside.
The Kilmore, Broadford, Wallan, Pyalong, Darraweit Guim, Kalkallo, Wandong, Clonbinane, and Glenaroua CFA units and Kilmore SES were the grateful recipients of the $3000 grants.
NorCen Financial Services community engagement and marketing officer Kate Boulton said the units were able to benefit from the grants thanks to the support of the community.
“If the community supports the bank, we can return that funding into the community to create a wealthier community with good infrastructure and programs,” she said.
“The communities that have these banks benefit greatly over places that don’t have community banks.
“We’ve returned $3 million into our local community through direct contributions. It just ticked over this month.”
The Kilmore and District Hospital also received a total of $60,215 in donations from the bank over the last 12 months, including the community bus, $28,000 to install solar panels and a much-needed machine to measure blood pressure from a patient’s toe.
Broadford Fire Brigade acting captain Dee Barry said it was fantastic to receive the contribution from the bank.
“To see how much support they throw behind all the community groups, not just the CFA but the smaller ones that don’t get much opportunity to fundraise, it’s fantastic for the communities they put that money into,” he said.
“Usually, we put this money towards buying equipment for the brigade. Previously it’s gone towards buying defibs and preventative equipment which gets quite expensive. We’ve got to look at what we’re actually going to buy this year, we haven’t decided yet.”