THE efforts of community groups banding together in a time of disaster were recognised at the Lions 201v2 Changeover Dinner on Saturday.
The Mortlake Lions Club received the Innovative Activity Award for 2013/14 for their work with other Lions Clubs and local groups during the bushfire crisis last summer.
Together with the Mortlake Fire Brigade Group, Skipton Lions Club and Romsey/Lancefield Lions Club, Mortlake was part of a program to distribute hay and lick blocks to the Kilmore area after bushfires tore through the district in February.
Mortlake Lions Club member Nola Brewer said the award was good recognition of what could be achieved when groups worked together.
“They were very impressed that we actually worked with the other Lions Clubs and the CFA and businesses in town,” she said.
“It was so easy to be able to contact the other Lions Clubs up there, we have a directory with all the numbers, so it was no trouble to connect with them and know they’d be able to do it for us.
“The Lions network was really, really good.”
While the Mortlake and Skipton Lions clubs worked with the Mortlake Fire Brigade Group to co-ordinate donations from the region, they liaised with the Romsey/Lancefield Lions Club, who organised the distribution on the other end.
Mortlake Lions Club president Norm Brewer said the small club was thrilled to receive the award from District Governor Stuart Pyers, given they were competing against much larger clubs from Werribee and Altona.
With a number of local projects also constantly ticking over, Mr Brewer said the club was pleased to be able to do its part in helping with the feed drive.
Richard Grice and Skipton Lions Club’s Doug Smith approached the Mortlake club to help out, while Cathcart Transport, TGR Transport and Alex Troth Transport delivered the hay.
Local businesses, such as Elders Mortlake, also gave their support to the feed drive.
“I think that’s the only way a small town’s going to survive: if all these non-profit groups chip in and give each other a hand,” Mr Brewer said.