Lions’ dedication pays off

Children in Tatura Community Houses Occasional Child Care program have a refurbished play area thanks to the hard work of a local service group.

ALEXANDRA BOLKAS June 23, 2014 3:35am

Tatura Community House Occasional Care’s new play area.

The Tatura Lions Club contributed $5000 and 200 working hours to the project.

President Doug Tuhan said the club decided to fund the project after he took a tour of the former play area last year.

‘‘I didn’t like what I saw so I mentioned it to members and we decided to pledge $5000,’’ he said.

‘‘(The money) was used to hire equipment, buy synthetic grass and pay for our concrete contractor.’’

Lions Club member John Mapson said the group was able to renovate the play area at half of the estimated cost.

‘‘The original estimate was $10 000 but we were able to secure a few donations and with our labour contribution we were able to do it for half of the estimated price,’’ Mr Mapson said.

Mr Tuhan said the group was rapt with their efforts.

‘‘We had about 15 members all up working on the project,’’ he said.

‘‘During summer we had a few 40° days and some members said never again, but I think they’re pretty pleased with the results.

‘‘It looks fantastic, the other week I was painting the hopscotch lines and a little girl said, ‘Oh you’re doing hopscotch’, and I thought you beauty you recognise what it is.’’

He said members had spent hours decorating the play areas walls with murals — including Malcolm Campbell’s painting of a petrol station.

Community House manager Joanne Pollard said the occasional child care program catered for 15 children twice a week.

She said work started on the play area in December last year.

‘‘I said it was my dream, before I leave this place, to get the playground fixed up,’’ she said.

Lions Club members have spent weeks painting the walls with colourful backdrops.

Ms Pollard said the renewed play area would be put to good use when the Community House trialled a third day of occasional child care next school term.

‘‘We’re very aware of a big shortage of childcare places in Tatura,’’ she said.

‘‘We’re trying to increase our service to cater for the demand.’’

Ms Pollard said the GV Community Fund contributed $500 for paints to be used on the walls.

A Greater Shepparton Council spokeswoman said council met with the Lions Club and the Community House to assist with planning before construction began.

‘‘Council continued to support the project and were involved in the relocation of services required to complete the project,’’ she said.

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