15 May 2024

Local clubs compete for Canberra's heart

| Morgan Kenyon
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woman serving beer

Eastlake Football Club, Calwell, was one of the first local clubs to grab a new fundraising opportunity by the horns. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Next time you order a schnitty at your favourite club, chances are you’ll be supporting patients at local hospitals.

ClubsACT proudly announced a new year-long partnership with the Canberra Hospital Foundation (CHF) late last year to fundraise for specialised equipment, important research, therapeutic programs, and refurbishment of away-from-bed spaces for patients and their families.

Sixteen local clubs have since signed up and hit the ground running for the Compete for OUR HEART Challenge. Ainslie Group was one of the first.

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Tori Heron coordinates efforts at Ainslie Group’s club venues in Ainslie and Gungahlin. It’s a mammoth job, but she loves the challenge and describes it as a great opportunity for clubs to contribute in their own way.

“Illness and injury touch everyone, and we all have a story about when we needed to rely on local hospitals, either for ourselves or a family member,” she says.

“Recognising and supporting these institutions makes us proud.

“As clubs in the nation’s capital city, we tend to be a pretty competitive lot, but opportunities like this remind us that we’re all peers lending our individual strengths to a healthier, happier community.”

Susan Proctor speaking at awards podium

Susan Proctor, CHF’s board chair, spoke on the innovative partnership at ClubsACT’s recent awards ceremony. Photo: Canberra Hospital Foundation.

Ainslie Group has organised four major activations throughout 2024: a dollar donated from every schnitty sold in their venues during June, an exciting trivia night in August complete with prizes from local breweries, bucket drives at upcoming Ainslie footy games, and a ‘wear your best wig’ day in September.

Working alongside Ainslie Group is:

  • Canberra Irish Club
  • Canberra Southern Cross Club: Tuggeranong, Woden, Yacht Club, Jamison
  • Eastlake: Calwell, Football Club, Gungahlin
  • Gungahlin Lakes Golf and Community Club
  • Harmonie German Club
  • Murrumbidgee Country Club
  • Thoroughbred Park
  • Vikings Group: Chisholm, Erindale, Lanyon and Town Centre.

Each venue has been encouraged to raise at least $10,000 over the year.

Harmonie German Club has just announced plans for a trivia night and corn hole competition. Murrumbidgee Country Club is supporting CHF’s Return Giving Recycling program, and Eastlake Football Club introduced their Fundraising Burger this month, which dedicates $3 per burger to the cause.

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CHF board chair Susan Proctor said the partnership supports a mutual interest in positive experiences for anyone accessing health services in the nation’s capital.

ClubsACT president Kim Marshall said the relationship aligns closely with the ethos of the not-for-profit club industry.

Both leaders shared their excitement at the Compete for OUR HEART challenge going ahead – and it’s no wonder, given the idea has been brewing between the two organisations since before the pandemic.

ClubsACT will support Compete for OUR HEART fundraising throughout 2024. When ‘Can Give Day’ rolls around in September, pooled funds will be donated directly to the Canberra Hospital Foundation.


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