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    Ararat ‘Ride to Remember’ and gala, ‘Night of Nights’ were the branch’s two major money-raising events.

Anniversary Blue Ribbon charity ball in Ararat

By Michael Scalzo

An annual charity dinner in Ararat hosted in memory of Victorian police officers killed while at work will mark an anniversary of community fundraising this week. 

Ararat Branch of Victoria Police Blue Ribbon Foundation will celebrate 20 years of community service at its flagship gala evening on Friday, as the group targets a $235,000 general x-ray machine for East Grampians Health Service.

Branch spokesperson Dianne Radford said the group’s annual ‘Ride to Remember’ and gala, ‘Night of Nights’ were the branch’s two major money-raising events of the year and attracted ‘overwhelming’ community generosity.

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“With proceeds from the evening, a new x-ray machine can be installed on completion of the new East Grampians Health Service development in the second half of the year. That is really remarkable considering we couldn’t host the gala during 2020 and 2021,” she said. 

Mrs Radford said the branch had always been a small group of community-minded people and still included three inaugural members.

She said the branch recently welcomed several new ‘young’ members. 

“Over two decades, the community has really embraced its Blue Ribbon Foundation branch because of a great partnership with East Grampians Health Service, but also, to remember the lives of police killed in the line of duty,” she said. 

The branch, established in 2002, has been raising money for the Ararat hospital x-ray machine since 2019 and is chasing the remaining $65,000 to complete the purchase and installation.

Charity auctions of more than 20 donated items and packages, and musical performances by Annabelle Eve and her band Comfort Creatures, will headline the black-tie event.

Eve and a member of her band, who also performed at the branch’s most recent gala event, are former members of the Victoria Police Media and Corporate Communications Department. 

The branch will welcome ACE Radio chief executive Mark Taylor to emcee the evening. 

Mr Taylor hosted the branch’s first gala event in 2002.

“We are delighted Mark is coming back. He is a wonderful supporter of the branch and of the foundation,” Mrs Radford said. 

She also noted the long-time support of ACE Radio owners Judy and Rowly Paterson. 

The Patersons were recognised with a Gold Community Service Medal from the statewide foundation for their contribution to the Ararat branch, Ararat and district communities and East Grampians Health Service, at the branch’s gala evening in 2017. 

The entire May 25, 2022 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

The entire May 25, 2022 edition of AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!