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Committee drives ac.care support despite COVID-19 stalling truck show

COVID-19 may have stalled the Mount Gambier Family Truck Show for 2020, but it did not stop the dedicated committee behind the unique event continuing to deliver significant support to ac.care in time for Christmas.

Faced with the cancellation of the 2020 event, the committee continued various initiatives to maintain its valued contribution to ac.care, collecting over $2000 and more than 125 toys from businesses and the broader Mount Gambier community.

The truck show committee also facilitated the donation of $1200 worth of cinema tickets from the Oatmill Cinema.

This was matched with free 10-pin bowling for 60 children at Kaboom Family Entertainment with the support of OG Roberts.

ac.care Limestone Coast homelessness services program manager Jill Pulleine said these donations and others from across the community helped the organisation spread festive support to those who needed it most at Christmas.

Ms Pulleine said the Limestone Coast community had been particularly generous in the lead-up to the festive season, with various organisations, businesses and individuals donating directly to ac.care or via the Mount Gambier Mayor’s Christmas Appeal, which led to a major contribution of $7000.

She said more than 150 people approached the Mount Gambier Community Centre to register for pre-Christmas support, with others contacting the vital service due to crisis over the festive season.

“Our support at Christmas time is provided almost entirely from community donations and really makes a difference for vulnerable people at what can be a challenging time for many,” Ms Pulleine said.

“We hear some heartbreaking stories at this time of year and are glad to be able to provide support to people facing a challenging time, but couldn’t do it without the support of the generous Mount Gambier community.”

Initiated four years ago, the truck show not only supports the community, but delivers an exciting family day out, with hopes the event will return in 2021.

ac.care volunteers collected gate entry fees of a gold coin donation at past events, with the fundraiser previously helping cover running costs of a furnished unit in central Mount Gambier, which is used throughout the year to provide emergency accommodation for many adults and children.

The unit was initially leased with the proceeds of another major event for the region – Mount Gambier’s Support Homeless People Luncheon, which was also postponed this year until 2021.

Ms Pulleine said the support of the property owner was also vital and acknowledged local motels which had helped ac.care throughout 2020 by providing crisis accommodation to people facing homelessness.

Mount Gambier Family Truck Show chairman Peter Burchell said the committee of business people behind the event was glad to be able to continue to support ac.care after a challenging year.

“It goes to show community support stills exist for organisations like ac.care and it is great to be able to contribute despite the challenges of 2020,” Mr Burchell said.

“The committee wants to thank the community for their support at this special time of year, especially considering the year we have all been through and we were glad to be able to provide such significant community support at a time when our event could not be held.”

The truck show committee also contributed $1200 to the Sunset Community Kitchen and is facilitating a large donation of surplus used computers to ac.care from the Scott Group of Companies in collaboration with service technicians TDRS.

ac.care can be contacted on 1300 ACCARE (1300 22 22 73).

VITAL SUPPORT: The Mount Gambier Family Truck Show Committee has delivered significant support to ac.care in time for Christmas, despite COVID-19 restrictions leading to cancellation of the 2020 event. Committee members donated over $2000, more than 125 toys and other significant donations this week to ac.care’s Limestone Coast homelessness services program manager Jill Pulleine, case manager Rebecca Haggett and communications manager Jason Wallace.