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To celebrate International Volunteer Day on Tuesday 5 December, council hosted an event at The Eastern Golf Course in Yering, to thank volunteers.
Mayor Len Cox said council delivered a heartfelt thanks to the Yarra Ranges volunteers and their efforts to support residents in the community.
More than 100 volunteers attended, receiving awards for 40, 30, 25, 20, 15 and five years of service.
Volunteers Alice and Fred Etheridge, from Mooroolbark, were celebrated for their incredible dedication for a combined 70 years of volunteer service.
Ms Etheridge began with Lilydale Meals on Wheels 40 years ago and was joined by her husband 10 years later.
Joan Smith has been volunteering in Yarra Ranges for 30 years with council’s Aged and Disability Services.
Ms Smith shared great stories about the early days at Upwey Meals on Wheels.
When she began, there was a thriving kitchen where meals were cooked and collected in small containers for distribution to the residents.
Now the food all comes individually packed and chilled.
Bookaburra Volunteers who run community reading programs for children will be thanked for the incredible support they give to families with young children.
Cr Len Cox said volunteers were essential to the fabric of the Yarra Ranges community.
“These are the people who generously offer their time and energy to projects which support and enrich our lives,” Cr Cox said.
“Our volunteers keep our community strong and cohesive. I can’t thank them enough.”
The Coldstream Primary School welcomed the volunteers with Christmas songs, followed by lunch, raffle and the Years of Service awards.

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