PCYC Morisset welcomes arrival of 12-seat Toyoto HiAce Commuter gifted by community donations

NEW WHEELS: Senior Constable Ha Son at the wheel, with Rosmairi Dawson, left, and representatives of Morisset Community Festival and Hunter Office Supplies of Morisset.
NEW WHEELS: Senior Constable Ha Son at the wheel, with Rosmairi Dawson, left, and representatives of Morisset Community Festival and Hunter Office Supplies of Morisset.

PCYC Morisset has been gifted a mini-bus that club manager Rosmairi Dawson said would be a game changer for the facility and local children.

The 2015-model Toyota HiAce Commuter was acquired following generous donations of $31,500 from the Morisset Community Festival committee, and $4000 from David and Sharen Griffin of Hunter Office Supplies, in Morisset.

"This is huge for us, and so exciting," Ms Dawson said.

"This opens up so many opportunities and pathways for children to be a part of extra programs now that we have this transport available."

Among those programs is Fit for Change, part of an early intervention program to help steer disengaged and at-risk Morisset children away from trouble.

Participants in Fit for Change are paired with local police officers in fitness sessions at PCYC Morisset before school. After the work-out, the children shower, enjoy breakfast at the PCYC, and then are driven to school.

Senior Constable Ha Son is based at PCYC Morisset and coordinates youth programs such as Fit for Change, and Fit for Work.

"I used to have to do two or three trips in a 4WD to get the kids to school," he said.

That won't be required now that the centre has a 12-seater.

The 2015-model Toyota HiAce Commuter seats 12. The total cost of the vehicle, including the addition of PCYC branding and donor logos, was $37,500, Ms Dawson said.

The 2015-model Toyota HiAce Commuter seats 12. The total cost of the vehicle, including the addition of PCYC branding and donor logos, was $37,500, Ms Dawson said.

Ms Dawson said the new vehicle would also enable the centre to take children on excursions and group events such as the Nations of Origin.

"That's a camp in the July school holidays for Aboriginal kids to get together and represent their nation - such as Awabakal or Darkinjung - in rugby league, netball, football 5s and basketball," she said.

Ms Dawson said that prior to having the HiAce, PCYC Morisset could not take part in many activities.

"We were limited in what we could do, and sometimes we'd have to borrow a bus from another club," she said.

Ms Dawson and Senior Constable Son thanked the donors for making the HiAce acquisition possible.

Margo Funnell, a founding committee member of Morisset Community Festival, said the committee's donation was the proceeds of the now defunct festival held at Morisset Showground.

Remembering the festival:

"For 15 years from 2001 to 2015 the Morisset Community Festival was held on the third Sunday in May," Ms Funnell said.

"After three years of not running, it was decided by the committee to close the accounts and donate the money to a local worthwhile cause."

The festival was an initiative of Morisset Rotary Club, and was designed to "build community" and a "sense of belonging", she said.

At the height of its popularity, the festival featured live music, performing artists, amusement rides and more than 100 stalls.

Over time, committee members dropped out, and replacements could not be recruited. The remaining committee members decided to suspend the festival until a larger organisation could be found to take over the running of the festival.

"That never happened, so the small committee decided last year to wind up the organisation and return the remaining funds to the community," Ms Funnell said.

The committee opted to donate the funds to PCYC Morisset for its programs because they benefited the entire district.

"It [the minibis] should have benefits for the community for years to come," she said.

"The carnival is over and we have said our last goodbyes."

David and Sharen Griffin of Hunter Office Supplies said their $4000 donation was part of the $5000 prize they received for being named Office Choice national Champion Dealer of the Year.

They donated the remaining $1000 of prize money to the Buy a Bale campaign for drought relief.

GENEROUS BENEFACTORS: Margo Funnell, left, with David Griffin and PCYC Morisset club manager Rosmairi Dawson and the new Toyota HiAce. Picture: David Stewart

GENEROUS BENEFACTORS: Margo Funnell, left, with David Griffin and PCYC Morisset club manager Rosmairi Dawson and the new Toyota HiAce. Picture: David Stewart

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