Article from 2021/2022 Impact of Giving Annual Report
Supporting The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) Foundation has been a keen focus for the Ferla Social Club (FSC) since its founding in 1972.
With the primary purpose of creating a community hub to support immigrants from the township of Ferla – in the province of Siracusa, Sicily, Italy – the FSC holds regular social gatherings, and in its early days staged theatrical activities and established youth sporting teams in netball and basketball. While motivated to uphold the traditions and culture of Sicily, the club also supports the integration of Italian culture with the Australian way of life.
FSC Treasurer Alex Menta says the FSC was built from the support and hard work of its committees and members.
“As a social hub, contributing to the community is what these clubs are about. Giving back through financial, cultural learning, community integration, sporting activities and social support are fundamental to their very existence,” said Alex.
In fact, the FSC’s constitution directs that its funds when it ceases to exist, which have been accumulated over the years through memberships, fundraising social activities and the sale of a former premises, will ultimately be given to charitable organisations, at the committee’s discretion, when the club ceases to exist. While it continues to operate, an annual proportion of the funds is distributed to charities for the wellbeing of the community at large.
When deciding where to direct their funds, the FSC chose the RCH Foundation since it was focused on children and located in or near the strong Italian bastions of Carlton, Parkville and North Melbourne.
“Focusing on children is the window to the future,” said Alex.
In 2022, as the club prepared to celebrate its 50th anniversary, the FSC donated $30,000 to the RCH Foundation to sponsor a bed in the Rosella Ward for four years, and Alex could not be more encouraging of others considering making a similar commitment.
“The simple message is: there exists no better gift than the gift of giving,” Alex said.