Hervey Bay group to do final act of kindness before closing
A FRASER Coast group that has raised thousands of dollars for others during the past two decades is saying goodbye.
Hervey Bay Vietnam Veterans and Associated Forces Social Club (VVAF) has raised $150,000 in its 23 years of operation.
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But before it finishes up, the group will perform a final act of kindness and give away $14,000.
VVAF president Barry English has been part of the club since its inception, and joined for the friendships that he would go on to form.
"It was formed mainly to assist with camaraderie among ourselves and to support local charities in the Bay," he said.
"We have had up to 100 members at a time."
Mr English has been a president for five years, was a vice-president for 15 years and a general member for three years.
"We are stopping mainly because of old age," he said.
"A lot of members are in their 70s and 80s now, and want to have a break."
Working alongside Mr English throughout the years has been his wife, Narelle. She has also been with the club since it started and currently, Mrs English is the treasurer and secretary.
Mr English said the difficulty in filling major positions for the club was also a leading factor to the group's closure.
"It is pretty sad to be closing, we've had a long run," he said.
"It has now become necessary to disband the club, and allocate monies accordingly to worthwhile recipients."
The group had a "last supper" at which the group's members sat down and selected recipients for the club's remaining funds.
Among the group's highlights were going to Vietnam itself, and helping veterans in country towns.
As part of their final handing out of funds, they gave $2000 to the Vietnam Veterans Association, that will carry on the social club's legacy.
The Vietnam Veterans Association will take over VVAF's most effective fundraising methods, such as selling raffle tickets at the Torquay Hotel.
Some existing members of VVAF will also cross over to the Vietnam Veterans Association.