April 26th, 2023Three courses of community spirit
THE 5000 Club’s newly elected president, Sandy Breen, says she has big shoes to fill.
Founder and patron Loretta Little has stepped down 14 years after establishing the weekly community lunch in Daylesford.
Her philosophy was to provide a weekly lunch for the local community with an emphasis on those who otherwise may not be in a position to enjoy a
nutritious three-course meal, and also to provide a social connection to help alleviate loneliness and encourage new friendships.
Sandy says 14 years down the track and The 5000 Club is still going strong,
largely due to a group of dedicated volunteers, some pictured below, who preside over
the weekly lunches each Friday from noon to 1pm in the pavilion at the Daylesford
“Our cook Pauline and several of the volunteers provide food for the lunches out of our own coffers each week.
“During the Covid years when we were forced to close our doors, our bank balance remained static, but now in our second year back in operation, we are certainly feeling the pinch of inflation on all fronts. It is not mandatory but we do welcome a small donation from our guests each week.”
Sandy said the club was recently approached by the manager of the Daylesford
Bowling Club, Neil Jordan. He invited them to be the recipient of the bowling club’s
Thursday night Community Meat Tray Raffles for April and May.
“It was music to our ears and we jumped at the opportunity to raise much-needed funds. The bowling club sells tickets at $2 each throughout the week which culminates in the Thursday night raffle. Vollies from The 5000 Club will be in attendance. We have already discovered how good the meals are – and inexpensive too.”
Sandy said someone must have been looking after them because “out of the blue”
they were asked by Daylesford’s Farmers Arms if they would like to fill a gap during
April at the hotel’s Friday night Meat Tray Raffle. Once again, they replied in the
“It never rains, but it pours,” says treasurer Tim Cansfield-Smith. “That’s cool,
we love rain.” Tim said The 5000 Club volunteers would sell tickets on the night
and gratefully receive the proceeds of the raffles that take place each Friday around
7.30pm until April 28 for the club.
Sandy said support for the club also came from several local businesses including
occasional grants from the Daylesford District Community Bank, Hepburn Shire
Council and Daylesford Rotary. They are also indebted to Bakers Delight, Wombat
Hill Florist, The Daylesford Meat Co, Hepburn Spa Company “and our dear friends
at The Local – we thank you all for your continued support”.
“We are also putting out feelers to encourage several other local food suppliers to
help with donations of surplus items. If any local businesses or individuals would be
interested in sponsoring us, please contact Tim on 0412 446 437,” Sandy said.
“Not long ago a local Blampied farmer gave us a box of zucchinis and another
farmer gives us potatoes, all of which are turned into delicious lunch items.
“(And) when a well-known (but anonymous) local donated $100 because ‘she
just wanted to be able to help’ we were very humbled. Her observation was that the
5000 Club is an extremely worthwhile addition to our community and should be
supported. We have also just had Daylesford Country Retreats come on board with a
very helpful donation. Thank you Brendan and Troy for your thoughtful generosity.
“Times are tough and money is tight, but the volunteers of The 5000 Club are
dedicated to providing wholesome lunches for our guests – between 35 and 40 each
week – and are determined that these lunches remain an important part of each week.
And we know only too well that we couldn’t achieve this without great dollops of
For more details, email The5000Club@hotmail.com or follow the club on
Facebook and Instagram
Words: Donna Kelly | Image: Kyle Barnes
Disclaimer: We love The 5000 Club