Community initiative raises money for church

Sacred Heart Church in Gembrook. Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS.

By Parker McKenzie

A community initiative raising money for businesses in and around Gembrook has launched a new fundraiser for a local church celebrating its centennial birthday next year.

Samantha Willis and Rita McPherson started the group to help businesses bounce back after the impacts of lockdowns and restrictions on trade.

The fundraiser’s goal is to connect the Gembrook Sacred Heart Church with the community.

“Myself and a group of local ladies have formed a group called Pick a pack – getting locals back on track, which is designed to help support the local businesses with some extra advertising and increase their sales,” Mrs Willis said.

“At the same time we are fundraising for the local Gembrook Sacred Heart Church, which turns 100 next year, in 2022.” 

The group is aiming to raise enough money through the fundraiser to repaint the church building and hold a celebratory event with the Gembrook community.

Mrs Willis said the next fundraiser is in partnership with Carlei Wines in Beaconsfield.

“Carlei Wines have designed a special discounted menu that features wines from $9 to $99,” she said.

“All orders over $60 will go into the draw to win a $100 voucher to the Pine Grove Hotel and every purchase will have 15 per cent of the purchase price donated to the Sacred Heart church.” 

Pick up locations for purchases can be organised in Gembrook, Emerald, Monbulk or Belgrave.

Mrs Willis said if you are a local business who would like to partner with getting locals back on track to reach out and contact them.

The Hairy dog cafe, CK Elements, Dirty Doug’s Essentials, A drop of Kate, Cockatoo IGA, COG Bikes in Monbulk, Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice creamery and Lisa Maree Hair Designs are some of the local businesses Pick a pack getting locals back on track have worked with.

People can visit the Getting Locals Back on Track Fundraising Facebook page or email for an order form.