There’s scarcely an organisation in Australia that more deserves the community’s help and respect than the Returned & Services League.
So it’s almost with a sense of reverence that the Portarlington Golf Club has extended part of its Community Contribution Fund (CCF) resources to the RSL Portarlington and St Leonards Sub-Branch.

“Every single one of us living in this country with the freedoms we enjoy owes a debt of gratitude to those who serve and who once served in any global theatre of war or peacekeeping duties,” chief executive Michael Phillips said.
“So as part of the club’s CCF, I’m absolutely delighted that we can make a contribution to the critically important and ongoing role the RSL plays on the Bellarine.
“And that sentiment applies not only to veterans, but to all in our community who increasingly find inspiration and solace in its members’ deeds.”
The PGC CCF allocated $2500 to help the restoration of the Portarlington hall’s Pratt Room, primarily used as a bar and meeting room.
The money will help bring the facilities of the old Department of Defence building up to modern standards with new chairs, sound-proofing and upgrades to lighting and ceiling fans.

Sub-Branch president Peter Greaney was delighted with the golf club’s backing, highlighting that while the revamped room will be a boon to veterans, it also will benefit other community groups, too.

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“On behalf of the committee and members of the Portarlington and St Leonards RSL Sub-branch, I would like to thank the management, committee and members of the Portarlington Golf Club for your kind donation,” Greaney said.
“The money will go towards much needed renovations to our Pratt Room, which is regularly used by our members, and also the wider community during our commemorative services such as ANZAC and Remembrance days.
“I also would like to thank the golf club for its continued support, which will enable us to provide ongoing welfare and advocacy assistance to the veteran community and their families.”

In awarding the grant, Phillips asked his own staff to consider ways the club could further assist the RSL outside the CCF grant.
“We really want the RSL to continue to grow as it has in recent years and continue to provide the vital services within the community,” Phillips said.
“But to make that happen, we all need to continue to provide support where possible, not just in a one-off fashion that the CCF permits.
“So we’ve come up with a plan alongside Peter and his colleagues to help the RSL continue its fund-raising initiatives throughout the year and our members will see this in the form of our club being home to some raffles the veterans hold.

“We’d ask all our members and their guests to continue this spirit of giving back to the RSL when they get the chance to purchase a raffle ticket when they visit our club.”
In the past five financial years alone, the Portarlington Golf Club has given charitable support of more than $150,000.

In that time, the CCF component has become the biggest single source of community initiatives with almost $50,000 in such grants alone.
The CCF was established to support not-for-profit community or sporting organisations to make positive improvements that will, in turn, benefit the wider community.
This year, highlighting just how much the CCF means to these institutions, the club received 18 grant applications totalling in excess of $122,000.
The RSL’s grant is one of four successful applications, with a total of $15,000 given back to the community, extended from the originally advertised scope of $12,000.
“We really think these donations have become incredibly important within our community, so we’re happy to extend this year because all the applicants were incredibly worthy,” Phillips said.