WHILE thousands of people visit the Wimmera Machinery Field Days each year for fun, more than 300 volunteers will be on hand to raise much-needed money for the community.
Many Wimmera schools, community groups and sporting clubs use the field days as a fundraiser each year.
Groups are involved in all aspects of the event, including selling drinks, cooking barbecues, parking cars, selling tickets and cleaning up the site.
Natimuk United Football Netball Club president Adam Blake said the club had been involved in the field days for a number of years.
“We are part of the clean up effort each night,” he said.
“The job is as big as how many people you can throw at it – if it was just one person trying to do it, it wouldn’t be much fun.
“We seem to be able to rally enough troops though to get through it alright and we will do it again this year.”
Mr Blake said the club also did some landscaping and paving work at the field days site over summer this year.
“That was a valuable activity for us and it was important work for the field days committee,” he said.
Mr Blake said it was important to look at the volunteers’ skills when taking on projects.
“In order to get people to put up their hand to help out, you have to know what your families are like or what skills people have,” he said.
“We have several guys who have the know-how to do professional landscaping work, so that is really important,” he said.
Mr Blake said volunteering at the field days was essential for the club.
“It is costly to run a sporting club and you need to keep building each year,” he said.
“You have to adapt to change and take on new opportunities – you can’t rely on something that worked 20 years ago.”
Mr Blake said he was happy with the amount of people who helped out at the field days each year.
“It’s important to have a positive and happy club and then more people are willing to get involved,” he said.
“We had a really good year last year and we had great numbers, so that should flow on to our fundraisers.”
Horsham’s Holy Trinity Lutheran College will have a range of fundraising activities at the field days this year.
Principal Daniel Weller said the school’s parent, teacher, and friends association would cook a barbecue, while the school would have another stall selling drinks and sandwiches.
“Our year 9 students will also sell drinks to support their Philippines tour each year,” he said.
“The field days is always a popular event and we are looking forward to getting out there again.”
Mr Weller said the fundraising was a valuable activity for the school.
“The money we raise is great, but it’s also a good opportunity for us to get out in the community and let people know about the programs and services we offer,” he said.
“It’s a busy three days for us, but people are always happy to step up to the mark and help out.”