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Southern Mitchell Rotary delighted with international dinner

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By Colin MacGillivray

ROTARY Club of Southern Mitchell leaders are thrilled with the outcome of their recent annual international dinner in Kilmore, which raised about $3500 for school children in Madagascar.

About 75 people attended this year’s dinner at Kilmore Soldiers Memorial Hall, which supported Rotary Australia’s charity project Lift Every Malagasy Up Rotary, LEMUR.

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The project aims to support about 1500 Malagasy children and their teachers at St Vincent’s Primary School in Ambovombe, Madagascar.

The area has suffered four successive years of drought in addition to the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing families in rural communities to resort to desperate measures to survive.

Rotary Club of Southern Mitchell president Rose King said a guest speaker at the dinner was Jessica Redwood from Australian charity Children First Foundation, which started in Kilmore and flies disadvantaged children from developing countries to Australia for life-saving and life-changing surgeries.

“[Ms Redwood] talked about how Children First had to rethink their way of doing things once COVID-19 started, because they couldn’t bring kids into the country for surgery anymore,” Ms King said.

“They looked at training up doctors in some of the overseas countries where they get children from, as well as providing after-care in their own countries rather than having it here.”

Children First Foundation chief executive Jessica Redwood speaks at Rotary Club of Southern Mitchell’s international dinner on October 29. ​

Ms King said the money raised during the international dinner would all go towards LEMUR.

“If people want to donate to LEMUR, it is a Rotary Australia project. People can donate through Rotary itself online, and all donations are tax-deductible,” she said.

Donations will be used to source food, clean drinking water, medicine and school equipment to aid families in Madagascar. Project organisers also hope to build a water well at the school if enough donations are obtained.

People can donate online by visiting

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