A longstanding member has left a $20,000 legacy donation to the Donald Simpson Community Centre after passing away.
At 97 years old, George Graves was a member of the centre for 10 years and passed away in June last year.
After his passing, a donation of $20,000 was made to the community centre where he enjoyed playing table tennis and participated in the walking group.
Board chairman Tony Christinson said although he was never lucky enough to meet George, the money was very much appreciated and needed for the centre.
“Until earlier October, we were totally out of funding and we had to make money urgently from the cafe, activities, membership fees and sponsors,” he said. “However, we try to keep our prices down as we get a lot of seniors who mostly live alone and come for a cheap meal.”
The Donald Simpson Community Centre opened in 1987 with the purpose of providing a venue for social, intellectual and physical activities for seniors in Redlands.
The centre offers various activities throughout the week including Zumba, table tennis and lawn bowls with a large auditorium, kitchen and cafe area.
Mr Christinson said they received a temporary grant from the state government which brought the centre back up to pace but was unable to give the centre any additional services.
“This place relies on donations very much,” he said
“We have 120 volunteers with people giving back up to 30 hours a week.”
Donald Simpson Community Centre chief executive Thomas Jithin said he believed George had a personal connection to the centre.
“I never got the chance to meet George, but it appeared to me that he joined the centre to tackle social isolation when his wife passed away,” he said.
Mr Jithin said the money would go towards operations and services for the upkeep of the centre.
“We raise nearly half a million dollars in revenue, but we have half a million dollars in expense too,” he said.
Mr Christinson said the state government conducted an analysis about how much members appreciated the centre to justify the funding.
“One woman said in the survey that she would cry if the centre closed and others said they would be stuck at home with no social interaction,” he said.
“That choked me up a bit hearing that because this centre really is what keeps people going.”