The Lawn Bowls Bar has long been a hub for community connection at Seachange Arundel. Now it is a place where residents can contribute their time and skills, with a total of 25 volunteers attaining Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) qualifications that allow them to run the bar and simultaneously raised much-needed funds for local charities. Volunteer Bar Manager, Howard Wallace, who has been living at the resort for five years, said “community spirit truly comes alive at our venue”. “A lot of those working the bar love it because they get to know other people in the community. It’s a great way to connect. People rally around. It’s a very social community and everyone wants to do something,” said Howard, who has managed the bar for two years. As a function venue, the Lawn Bowls Bar has raised more than $10,000 for various charities as well as hosted welfare seminars with information from hospitals, legal advice on wills, first aid and many other subjects.
“Pre-COVID19, we could have up to 400 people at a function, however, now we must restrict numbers,” he said. “Two of the largest events of the year were functions to raise money for breast cancer, which last year saw more than $3000 raised, and for prostate cancer in November, which resulted in donations of $8000.” Funds raised from the bar contribute to a large proportion of administration costs, various community events, regular activities, and to the Home Owners Association (HOA). HOA president Marjorie Gerlinger said “we are so fortunate to have an amazing group of volunteers who put a huge amount of time and effort into organising and running all that goes on, and it is a lot. Without those volunteers we wouldn’t be able to provide a small fraction of what we are able to offer our residents.”
Meet and greets are held once a month for new people, with events organised throughout the year, plus 38 regular activities available for residents. Anzac Day is also huge at Seachange Arundel with about 400 of the 700-odd residents expected to attend various activities throughout the resort. Coming up is the Seachange’s Got Talent show in April with two sold out performances, regular travel shows and a sold-out Olivia Newton-John History Show in May. In fact, currently with restricted numbers all events and shows are sell-outs!