By Jackson Russell
Hidden Valley and Wallan District Men’s Shed is hosting a fundraiser with a difference and is hoping it will be a hole-in-one.
Hidden Valley resident David Tongue will open one hole of his backyard golf course, dubbed ‘The Royal 9’, and donate $1000 of prizemoney for the first hole-in-one on the 70-metre downhill hole with a further $500 to be split between the three closest shots.
Having a go at the hole-in-one will cost $1 a ball, and there will also be a sausage sizzle on the day with sausages donated by Dench Meat and Chicken.
Mr Tongue said he opened his course and donated the prizemoney after seeing the success of Kilmore Men’s Shed and wanting to help do the same in Wallan and Hidden Valley.
“Sometimes, people think Hidden Valley residents don’t need facilities like this but I assure you they do and there is already a group of older people in the valley who would very much like to use that facility,” he said.
“The opening of the new retirement homes means there’ll be more older people there who will be seeking something to do and to occupy their minds.
“I’m very thoughtful of how these sheds seem to help the mental health of getting older in life.
“Sometimes, people can get lonely and if there’s some facility they can go to and meet similar people with similar problems, it does seem to help their mental health.”
Hidden Valley and Wallan District Men’s Shed president Phil Fabel said the money raised would go to help the shed fit out its first permanent site in Wallan East, behind Wallan Gateway Church.
“We’re still fitting out that facility, putting toilets and the kitchen in and we’re about to build the benches,” he said.
“All that takes money just to buy wood and our insurance is also due at the moment and that’s a big expense.”
While the Wallan East shed is on its way, it’s quite small and the group is still hoping to build a second shed in Hidden Valley.
Mitchell Shire Council is conducting community consultation regarding a new shed in Hidden Valley and shed members hope that will lead to them being given land to build a shed on.
“We’re very hopeful council will allow us to have tenure over that land so we can then start applying for grants and building a shed here in the valley,” Mr Fabel said.
“We’ll get the Wallan East facility up and operational, it’s a very small facility but it’s something to start with, then we’ll start building the shed in the valley which will hold a lot more members.”
The Hole-in-One competition will take place on Sunday, March 1 from midday at 7 Ironbark Court, Wallan.