THE community has put its heart and hip pocket into the Spirit with two Bendigo clubs chipping in the final funds needed for the temporary stands.
The Hindsight Club, founded in 2011 to sponsor events in Bendigo, used its last $5000 to help the basketball team so it won’t have to dig into any profit generated from hosting tomorrow’s grand final.
Part-founder Brendan Baker said it was an easy choice to support the Bendigo team, because it was “all about giving money back to the town”.
“We had some money left over from last year’s charity race event and found out that the Spirit were $5000 short, so we figured it was a really exciting, huge thing to support,” he said.
The women’s team will also get a financial boost from the Bendigo Jockey Club, which last night raised several thousand dollars to jointly support the Bendigo Spirit and the Bendigo International Madison.
Bendigo Jockey Club’s Ian Hart said the event raised $30,000, which would go directly back into the community.
“We had two international riders, all the Spirit players and also the Townsville coach and captain so it really was a great evening,” he said. “We raised a lot of money thanks to some really good auction items that were donated.
“It’s good news for local sport and we have so much coming up – we have our Golden Mile race day and the basketball grand final, which will both be televised across Australia on free-to-air TV.
“It’s just so good for Bendigo and we wanted to support the town where we could.”
A margin of the ticket sales will also go towards the two organisations.
Bendigo Bank Spirit chairman Jeremi Moule thanked the two clubs for their generous donations.
“It’s absolutely wonderful, it was really overwhelming last night to have that happen – it was very good,” he said.
Bendigo Spirit has now raised the $60,000 needed for the stands, thanks to support from the state government, the City of Greater Bendigo, as well as several local community groups and sponsors.