IT may have been a digital ceremony, but that didn’t dampen the excitement of the Queanbeyan Lions Community Bookshop team after taking out the award for Southern Inland volunteer team of the year.
Taking place over Zoom yesterday (October 7), the book store team was one amongst six organisations from around the region nominated for the prize annually awarded by the Centre for Volunteering.
But when their names were read out as the winners, Queanbeyan Lions club vice-president Max Carrick said they were “astonished” at their good fortune.
“We were all of the mind until yesterday that this is something we’ll just give a shot but probably not win,” said Max.
“We had a small group here at my place, covid safe of course, watching it on the big screen and we just leapt in the air when we heard our name’s read out.
“We’re absolutely delighted.”
Thirty-one volunteers make up the bookshop team, each giving their time to raise money for charity by selling books from their store on Monaro street for one and two dollars.
Since its opening in 2018, the store has raised over $100,000 for good causes such as Home in Queanbeyan, the St Benedict’s Community Centre, Karabar Housing Cooperative, Louisa Domestic Violence Service and Barnardos.
Recently, the team reached out to the community with an online fundraiser to help with electricity costs so that more money from the shop could go back into charities.
It’s an endeavour the community enthusiastically got behind, raising nearly $3000 for the store, enough to pay electricity bills for a whole year.
Between this generosity from the community and the award, it’s got the Lions more excited than ever for reopening and selling books when covid restrictions allow.
“At this point we don’t know who’s more keen to reopen, the volunteers or the people who want to get in and buy some books,” said Max.
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