This year’s Christmas Rendezvous really was a time to rejoice as we were at last allowed to gather in numbers and you really could feel the joy in the room. It was great to see so many familiar faces along to enjoy the evening.

Members of the White family once again graced us with their presence and presented the Clinton White Award for outstanding community service. This year, it was another very worthy recipient in current Board member Paul McPherson who has been a foundation stalwart for decades and also serves local and regional communities in a myriad of other ways. Congratulations, Paul.

Also honoured with induction as a life member was Steve Atchison who has also been a great servant and former Treasurer of the Foundation for many years. Steve has a long standing local business Branchline and he is always there at our events pitching in donations or as a helper on the day. Another deserved honour — congratulations, Steve.

During this year, the Foundation joined with the Wheelton Group in a special partnership to help a young family with serious challenges. The mum, Jodie, came along and told her story and what a difference the support provided made to her and her two daughters.

$2,000 grants were made to the Kindness Community, Helping hand and Southern Cross Kids Camps and some of the recipients of grants during the year were also on hand to tell their stories.

It has been a tough year. For the Foundation, that meant that we couldn’t run any of our fund raising events. Thanks to the hard work and foresight of previous Committees and particularly leader like Daryl Stevens, Paul McPherson and Tony Wright, the Foundation has a sound financial footing. So not only was the Foundation able to get through the pandemic OK, it was also able to do more to help those in need in the community.

Thanks must go to the Grants Committee of Bruce Stewart, Tegan Rose and Mandy Maguire for the great job they have done throughout the year.

Thanks also to Mr Fox for looking after everyone and providing great food and service yet again.

Finally, the Board extends thanks to all who have supported the Foothills Foundation all the way back to when it was the Footmen Club. That thanks especially goes to our premium sponsors, Bendigo Community Bank Mooroolbark. We sincerely hope that you all have a wonderful Christmas and New Year and that we get to see more of you in 2021 when we can run our events again.