Feel-good fundraising keeps the wheels turning

FEEL GOOD ADVENTURE… Front row: GV Hospice interim executive manager Kaye Gall and registered nurse Marjo Reijnen, Middle: Skeeta 'King' Robert Palma, GV Hospice family support worker Bec Nicoll, registered nurse Lou Moylam, and Skeeta treasurer Mark Hyland. Back: Riders Steve Threlfall and Cailean William. Photo: Deanne Jeffers.

IT IS only through community spirit that GV Hospice Care has been able to grow and to provide end-of-life care for patients and their families on weekends, holidays, and after-hours.

“Hospice provides a free palliative care service 24-hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, but is funded by the Victorian Government for office hours only,” said GV Hospice Care president, Jeanette Powell.

“We are very fortunate to have a very supportive and generous community who provide the extra funding so we can provide our service after hours and on the weekends and holidays.”

After-hours support is fully funded by community efforts like donations, through the GV Hospice Op Shop, and community groups and events. Over the last year, $136,000 was contributed by the community.

FEEL GOOD ADVENTURE… Front row: GV Hospice interim executive manager Kaye Gall and registered nurse Marjo Reijnen, Middle: Skeeta ‘King’ Robert Palma, GV Hospice family support worker Bec Nicoll, registered nurse Lou Moylam, and Skeeta treasurer Mark Hyland. Back: Riders Steve Threlfall and Cailean William. Photo: Deanne Jeffers.

One generous contributor is the GV Hospice Rallye. Over 26 years the annual motoring event has raised more than one million dollars. This year was their most successful, having raised a record-breaking $100,000!

The rally is a navigational challenge on sealed roads and all kinds of vehicles are welcome to participate, from vintage cars to the daily run-around.

“Almost everyone knows of Hospice and their incredible work. The community is so generous because they want to see this important after-hours service continue. The Rallye was cancelled one year due to Covid, and we came back this year and raised our largest sum yet,” said committee member Min Innes-Irons, a classic car enthusiast who has participated in 17 rallies and served as chair for seven years.

“The Rallye committee works tirelessly to put on these events to support an important local cause. All committee members are volunteers, such as the likes of Bill Parsons, who drives the Rallye,” said Min.

“Families and the next generation are all encouraged to take part. It’s a great deal of fun. We aim to have a good mix of cars and people every year.”

GV Hospice Care has been supported by a range of groups ever since its inception in 1987, from bike riders to boot scooters.
The annual Skeeta Memorial Run marked 10 years of Honda postie bike adventures this year, and at the same time handed over $6,400 to

GV Hospice Care in June. Over the years, they have raised almost $40,000 for GV Hospice Care.

Organised by “King” Robert Palma, who says Skeeta is a social group that connects participants for a rewarding experience and local cause.

“A member lost his wife a few months ago and Hospice Care helped them until they had to say goodbye,” said Mr Palma.

“Skeeta is about staying connected, but it also allows people to give back to a great cause. In this case, it is very personal and rewarding going on these trips and raising money, it is also an annual catch up for us.”

It is this dedicated community support with these and many other community volunteer groups including the Shepparton and Shepparton Central Rotary Clubs, Sorophtimist, Friends of Hospice, Shepparton businesses and individual bequeaths. GV Hospices recognises this wonderful support by providing a free 24-hour, 7-day-a-week service and access to specialist equipment for those in our patients reach out in need.

For information about the Rallye, please email Min Innes-Iron at [email protected]

1925 BUGATTI… Type 23, driven by Min Innes-Iron and Boyd Thompson. Photo: Supplied.