One of the busiest Rotary Clubs in Gipsland is at Drouin, raising many thousands of dollars each year for community and charitable causes.
For more than 15 years, stall holders with goods as varied as produce, clothing and crafts have gathered on the third Saturday of each month at Civic Park for the Rotary Club of Drouin’s Craft and Produce Market.
Markets of various kinds have become popular across Gippsland, with increasing numbers of patrons attracted to fresh locally-grown produce and hand-made goods. Drouin Rotary’s 15th birthday market last November attracted 72 stallholders and hundreds of patrons, making it one of the club’s best ever.
Extra features were added to the December market including live music. The next market will be held this Saturday between 8am and 12.30pm.
In the last financial year alone, the markets, including a barbecue operated by club members, raised more than $11,000 (after expenses) for projects that benefit the local community.
Support for the Craft and Produce Market has grown exponentially with Drouin’s rising population. However it hit a bump five years ago when the neighbouring Warragul Farmers’ Market was launched on the same day of the month. According to Drouin’s market coordinator, John Tricarico, theirs took a hit at the time but has gradually bounced back, with some patrons even attending both.
The Craft and Produce Market Market is just one activity of the Rotary Club of Drouin that raises funds mainly for local projects and causes, but also for national emergency relief and some international Rotary programs. Through special events, the club has also made substantial contributions to Gippsland Rotary Centenary House.
The Drouin Rotary’s annual Motorfest has become a popular event and will be on again at Lardner Park on 11 and 12 March, along with a Show’n Shine competition. Then on 9 April, they’re back at Lardner Park for an annual Swap Meet.