At the start of the year we asked the community workers group (IFYS) what they would like to see Rotary do for the disadvantaged in the area. So we kicked off with the help of most of the cluster with small with a donation of a Popcorn Machine, as the old one had exhausted itself on the previous kids Christmas parties. Alex Rotary then stepped up with a donation of 400 Christmas hampers for the Kids in Crisis carers Christmas party. 
 
 
After Christmas we got REALLY serious with a visit to a crisis care home, where we were shown a bare garden that badly needed to be upgraded for the kids in crisis staying there.
 
 
 
So with the help of Youth Justice and Child services we got the go-ahead to develop a landscape that would help the kids staying at the home have something positive to do. 
This was taken to the cluster, and unanimously adopted at the cluster meeting as a genuine ROTARY Project worth doing. 
 
 
So next week we kick of the physical work with pathways and then move on to the serious business of landscaping. We wouldn't have got to this point, without the great help of John & Lol White and their daughter Bridget who did the fantastic garden design, and Paul Morton who produced the brilliant brochures to promote the "Care Garden Project"
 
 
 
Also special mention to Councillor Rick Baberowski who has generously supported the project with a donation from his discretionary fund, and a big thank you to Peter Hall of Hall Contracting who is doing the earthworks.
 
 
 
All of the work is being project managed by Peter Eggleton from Mooloolaba Rotary, and overseen by our ADG Wendy Gilson, and the committee chairperson our very own Errol Richardson. 
 
 
 
...and here's some photo's and a progress report from the grand poobah for the project, he writes...

What a GREAT EFFORT and a GREAT RESULT !
 
We had Renee creating two new gardens at the front of the house (and has the blisters to prove it) helped by her two girls, then along came the financial wizard, Katie to help. 
Tim, Renee’s husband was busily helping Mudlark, John M dig a trench, Tim joined Renee and Katie later.

Wendy, the wizard weeder, was busy weeding and mulching the existing gardens.  She was later joined by Paula and Lol with John W keeping up the supply of mulch
Master painters Graeme and Tony swooped on all the garden furniture with gusto….lookout Picasso

Meanwhile, John M was having the time of his life in the mud.  He seems to have developed a passion for trenching, specializing in supersaturated heavy clay soils…you couldn’t keep him out of it.

Super-smooth Geoff, Graham and Roger were busily oiling the deck and anything else that got in the way, then along came Sparkie Paul, and helper, to install the light for the deck
Then came the erection of the Teenagers Retreat on the deck. After cleaning off all the elements, walking around all the bits a few times, measuring, and a bit of arm waving, it started to happen.
In no time at all it was all over…smooth as silk.  With Master Craftsman Roger and his disciples, Geoff, Graham and Tony what could go wrong?  Roger was enjoying his time so much on the roof, we had a bit of trouble talking him down

Geoff gave the deck one final lick, carefully painting himself out via the step, and it was all over.

Throughout all of this we have Peter, casting an eye over the masses, joining in with the odd shovel here and there, offering suggestions and making requests for things to be done a certain way etc, all of which were studiously ignored (not really)
 
 
 
Basketball court, raised garden beds, deck and cubby house.
 
 
Graeme being busy, John in background waving mattock about. 
 
All in all, a great effort and a big thank you to everybody
 
It will be on again next Saturday.  Stay tuned for further detailsWhat a GREAT EFFORT and a GREAT RESULT !
 
We had Renee creating two new gardens at the front of the house (and has the blisters to prove it) helped by her two girls, then along came the financial wizard, Katie to help. 
Tim, Renee’s husband was busily helping Mudlark, John M dig a trench, Tim joined Renee and Katie later.
Wendy, the wizard weeder, was busy weeding and mulching the existing gardens.  She was later joined by Paula and Lol with John W keeping up the supply of mulch
Master painters Graeme and Tony swooped on all the garden furniture with gusto….lookout Picasso
Meanwhile, John M was having the time of his life in the mud.  He seems to have developed a passion for trenching, specializing in supersaturated heavy clay soils…you couldn’t keep him out of it.
Super-smooth Geoff, Graham and Roger were busily oiling the deck and anything else that got in the way, then along came Sparkie Paul, and helper, to install the light for the deck
 
 
Then came the erection of the Teenagers Retreat on the deck. After cleaning off all the elements, walking around all the bits a few times, measuring, and a bit of arm waving, it started to happen.
In no time at all it was all over…smooth as silk.  With Master Craftsman Roger and his disciples, Geoff, Graham and Tony what could go wrong?  Roger was enjoying his time so much on the roof, we had a bit of trouble talking him down
Geoff gave the deck one final lick, carefully painting himself out via the step, and it was all over
Throughout all of this we have Peter, casting an eye over the masses, joining in with the odd shovel here and there, offering suggestions and making requests for things to be done a certain way etc, all of which were studiously ignored (not really)
 
All in all, a great effort and a big thank you to everybody
 
Errol
 
 
Digging ditch for power and water to the teenage retreat. 
 
 
 
..and here's our Tony and Michael from Buderim holding up the front of the Cubby house donated by Buderim mens shed.
 
 
This is how the  garden looked last Friday when we gathered to officially handover our good work over the past year to IFYS. There was a big crowd there from Rotary, IFYS and other supporters to see what all the fuss has been about, some seeing the changes for the first time.
 
We've almost completed the initial garden concept as envisaged by Bridget with only a raised garden bed area to be put in just as soon as the ground conditions are dry enough to allow equipment to make the foundations. 
 
 
District Governor Darryl Issepi, Vicky Meyer, Business Development Manager IFYS and CEO Tony Pignata.
 
 
 
The deck at the back of the garden. A brilliant retreat away from the home where residents can relax while the kids play basketball on the new court, or in the cubby house, or trampoline. As Tony Pignata said, this is now a place where kids can play safely and make many happy memories. 
 
 
 
They say its never over till the paperwork is done, and thats true, but we can say that the physical work is done with John & Lol White bring the plants and the poo (don't ask) along on Monday morning and planting out the garden beds. One is a salad bowl, one herbs, and another an interesting mix.
 
So after getting the plants in, and instructions to Damo to keep them well watered, we removed the temporary fence and replaced with the permanent fence and said good bye to a fantastic cluster project. 
 
Lol white planting out the garden beds.
 
 
As I said on Friday, its been a fantastic project, and could not have been done without the help of Rotarians and Rotoractors, 
 
The Rotary Club of Alexandra Headland received the Brett Mitchell Memorial TRF grants award at our handover dinner, which we accepted on behalf of the clubs and individuals who made this fantastic back yard possible, and more importantly ...........left a legacy of fond memories for the kids who will be using it. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
..and here are some of the committee members. Note the wine bottles in the corner!
 
The garden project team had their final meeting at Wendy's, and shared a few stories on the project and all agreed that the project had been successful on many fronts. 
Of course the biggest achievement was the garden itself, and what a transformation has been made.
 
But also its been great to see the clubs working together to achieve something that will leave a lasting legacy for all the kids who will be staying at the IFYS Care Home.
 
Its also been a great activity to bring other community minded volunteers in to the project and their help has been fantastic. 
 
Also the suppliers and contractors involved have been great, many donating and most doing "at cost" to help us out. 
 
And then there is the reputation of Rotary. By getting our name out there and "getting our hands dirty" we have enjoyed ourselves (mostly) and added to the reputation of Rotary in the community, which can be no bad thing. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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