27 February 2024

Inner Wheel Corowa volunteers gear up for fundraising luncheon

| Vanessa Hayden
Start the conversation
Suze Rogashoff and Christine Kent, from Corowa's Inner Wheel Club

Suze Rogashoff and Christine Kent, from Corowa’s Inner Wheel Club, are hoping for a turnout of 100 women for their International Women’s Day lunch on 8 March. Photo: Vanessa Hayden.

A sense of purpose and the opportunity to connect with others are at the heart of voluntary work with community organisations such as Corowa’s Inner Wheel Club.

The group are gearing up again to stage their International Women’s Day lunch on Friday, 8 March, which will provide the opportunity for women to celebrate and raise money for one of their chosen fundraising projects, One Girl.

Inner Wheel president Christine Kent and event co-ordinator Suze Rogashoff say they aim to raise around $1500 at the event, which will go a long way towards ensuring girls and young women have access to their right to an education in Sierra Leone, on the southwest coast of West Africa.

“When a girl gets to a certain age in parts of Africa there are many different barriers that stand in the way of them accessing education – including just being a girl,” said Suze.

“Poverty is one barrier and not having the essentials means they won’t go to school. We know that a small amount of money goes a long way in assisting with things like books, uniforms, tutoring and hygiene requirements like sanitary pads,” said Chris.

“The One Girl program made a life-changing difference to 196 girls in 2022 and it’s rewarding being a part of the program when you hear the success stories of girls going on to study law at university and other achievements.”

With the help of a grant from the Federation Council, Inner Wheel will stage the event at the Corowa Civic Bowls Club and expects 100 women to attend, with tickets ($35) still available to purchase.

READ ALSO Diversity takes centre stage at National Folk Festival

Guest speaker will be Jingellic’s Mary Hoodless, the coordinator of the Fischer Community Leadership Program who runs a consultancy business working with the not-for-profit sector. There’ll also be a performance from the Corowa Sing Australia Choir.

As you’d expect with a ladies’ lunch, there’ll be fun and frivolity to be enjoyed while you are digging into your purse and the promise of picking up a lucky door or raffle prize is an added bonus.

Corowa’s branch is one of about 110 Inner Wheel clubs in Australia which are considered the equivalent of Rotary for women. Members meet locally, nationally and internationally and this year the International Inner Wheel is celebrating its 100th year of service.

Corowa was established around six years ago and falls into “District A54” which also includes clubs in Albury, Griffith East, Leeton, Narrandera, Wagga Wagga, Yarrawonga/Mulwala and Yenda.

For women like Chris and Suze, the involvement with the group has given them a “sense of purpose” since retiring from their careers – Suze from Canberra’s federal government sector and Chris from banking.

“When I retired and moved here from Canberra two years ago I knew virtually no-one,” said Suze.

“Joining the group has been a godsend. I’ve been able to make friends, connect with the community and I can use my skills to help in a meaningful way and really make a difference.”

READ ALSO Ambitious plan for luxury chalet in Mullengandra hills takes shape

The 40-strong club has a team of eight volunteers pulling the event together who are still in the throes of seeking donations for the raffle, finalising decorations, firming up the program and promoting the event.

“Our members are aged between 32 and 87, so quite a mix,” laughed Chris.

“They are mostly retired and as you would imagine, there are a range of backgrounds in our membership from teachers and nurses to hotel managers and other professionals who all have various skills that we try to draw on.

“Like every volunteer organisation there are struggles and raising funds is becoming harder and harder and can be a real challenge.

“We hope that a day like our lunch means that women from around our region can enjoy a day of celebration, meet new people, share a story, enjoy a glass of bubbles and make a difference to someone else’s life.”

After the lunch event, president Chris will don her official hat and travel to Manchester in the UK to attend the international convention in May. The group was also the successful bidder to host the 2025 national conference which is expected to attract around 250 members to the region for the four-day event.

Tickets to the luncheon can be booked on Trybooking or by contacting Suze at [email protected].

Start the conversation

Daily Digest

Want the best Riverina news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riverina stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.