A thank you lunch

Some of the Volunteer Group Leaders. Back standing L to R: Rosemary McMahon, Stanthorpe Zonta Club; Sam Costanzo, Stanthorpe Lions Club; Sue Boyce, CWA; Karen Tulloch, Tulloch Ladies; Anne Lindsay, St Paul’s Church; Clelia Patti, St Joseph Parish; Judith Pfrunder, Uniting Church; Mary Puglisi, Granite Belt Rotary. Sitting L to R: Rachael Speechley, Qld MoW; Julie Beddow, Stanthorpe Rotary; Bronwyn Martin, Bronwyn’s Rebels; Morwenna Arcidiacono, Granite Belt U3A and Stanthorpe Pickleball. Picture: SANDRA McEWAN

Stanthorpe Meals on Wheels hosted its annual ’Thank You to Volunteers’ luncheon on Wednesday 13 March, at the Stanthorpe International Club, drawing in 140 guests to celebrate the spirit of community unity in the Granite Belt area.

Leonie Schekoske, Musical Director of ’Contempo,’ highlighted the significance of the large turnout, describing it as a testament to the strong sense of community cohesion in the region.

The event featured guest speakers Rachael Speechley, Queensland Meals on Wheels Area Manager and Member Support, and James Lister MP, Member for Southern Downs.

Attendees were treated to delightful musical entertainment provided by ’Contempo,’ while the catering for the luncheon was skillfully prepared and served by the Stanthorpe State High School catering class, under the guidance of Mrs. Tanya Hamilton.

Over the past 12 months, Stanthorpe Meals on Wheels Inc., with the invaluable assistance of its dedicated volunteers, delivered approximately 9,000 meals to the community, all prepared by the kitchen staff at Stanthorpe Hospital.

Expressing gratitude to the volunteers, a member of the team emphasized their indispensable role in the organization’s operations, acknowledging that without their support, Stanthorpe Meals on Wheels Inc. would struggle to serve the vulnerable elderly population in the community.

Despite a general decline in volunteerism observed by Queensland Meals on Wheels following the COVID-19 lockdown, the Granite Belt region has fared remarkably well. Stanthorpe boasts a unique model involving eighteen community groups, ranging from service and recreational clubs to secondary schools, churches, sporting clubs, and friendship groups. This diverse network provides Stanthorpe with a dedicated team of over 150 volunteers, ensuring that more than 70 clients receive not only nutritious meals but also companionship and social interaction five days a week.