By Jackson Russell
Kilmore Wallan RSL has raised a record amount of more than $30,000 during its 2019 Remembrance Day Appeal.
The massive fundraising amount breaks the previous record, set during the 100th anniversary of Remembrance Day and the end of World War One in 2018, by $20 with a grand total of $31,281.
Kilmore Wallan RSL president Rod Dally said the sub-branch didn’t expect to reach the record but was pleasantly surprised with the result and thanked volunteers for their hard work and the community for its generosity.
“We didn’t think we’d even get anywhere near matching it well, in fact we beat it which was really a surprise,” he said.
“We had people help us sell those poppies and badges both on Anzac Day and Remembrance Day who aren’t RSL members but they have a tradition in their families of supporting our troops.”
Mr Dally said appeals manager Mike Robotham and his partner worked tirelessly to help the appeal run smoothly.
“They put out honesty boxes all around the shire, they go and check them every day and top them up, they do all the stocktakes with two or three other people afterwards and count all the money,” he said.
One particular volunteer worked for 13 straight days in Wallan collecting money for the Remembrance Day Appeal, including numerous double shifts.
Mr Dally said every single cent raised during the sub-branch’s Remembrance Day and Anzac Day appeals goes directly to helping veterans.
Half of the money raised is kept by the sub-branch to use within the community, while the other half goes to a larger RSL Victoria fund.
“If we should run out of money to help people, we just ring them and they send it out from that fund,” he said.
“I just want to make people aware that there’s no profit in this for anyone. What it is, is we look after not only veterans but their families.”
Kilmore Wallan RSL has used the money from its appeals and yearly membership fees to send children of veterans to camps, pay for school uniforms and books and purchase motorised scooters and computers for disabled veterans and their families.
Mr Dally said he wanted to let the community know how much he and the sub-branch appreciated the support.
“People don’t have a lot of excess cash and the fact they just kept giving – it is amazing,” he said.
“When I say to the veterans and their kids that we can help them and see their faces, that’s worth every bit of it.”