The year 2020 was to mark the 150th Bendigo Easter Fair - and the 150th year the Bendigo Chinese Association was to raise money for Bendigo's hospital.
The COVID-19 pandemic might have put a stop to the former, but the BCA is still making an effort to support healthcare.
Instead of raising money for Bendigo Health during the festival, the organisation is starting a fundraising drive to support the Royal Melbourne Hospital Foundation and the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity in their efforts to develop a vaccine against the COVID-19 virus.
BCA vice president Tan See Tuang said he thought it would be a good idea to continue doing something for charity, even though the fair could not go ahead.
"I feel we should get plenty of support, because it affects everyone and until we get a vaccine, we are locked in this situation with COVID-19," Tan said.
Relive the 2019 Bendigo Easter Fair:
- How Easter 2019 unfolded | Photos, videos
- Dai Gum Loong makes his Easter debut
- See the faces in the crowd at the Bendigo Addy Gala Parade
- Sun Loong's last dance
- Oldest dragon Loong welcomes new dragon
- Bendigo streets come to life after dark for Torchlight Procession
- Watch as Bendigo's dragons are awoken for Easter
- Search begins for 200,000 Easter eggs
Tan said other institutes were involved in vaccine development, but the Royal Melbourne Hospital Foundation and the Doherty Institute were the closest to Bendigo.
The fundraiser has no set end date yet.
But Tan said it was hoped that the Bendigo Easter Fair would return next year, and the BCA would then turn its attention back to fundraising for Bendigo Health.
Researchers from the Doherty Institute - a joint venture of the Royal Melbourne Hospital and University of Melbourne - are working on a vaccine for the novel coronavirus, as well as antibody tests and treatments.
Meanwhile, as one of five global WHO Centres for Research on Influenza, the Royal Melbourne Hospital operates the Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Lab.
The BCA fundraiser for the Royal Melbourne Hospital Foundation and Doherty Institute officially launches on Saturday, August 1.
Anyone wishing to support the fundraiser can do so online.