In the past 31 years, more than 12 major projects in the region have benefited from these funds, in some cases by way of seed capital to commence a project and thereby attract Government and other funding opportunities to complete the project. In other cases the Rotary Club of Deloraine has provided 100 per cent funding for the project.
More than 200 smaller community projects have been funded through the Tasmanian Craft Fair.
The impact of the Craft Fair funding on communities and individuals ranges further than the Meander Valley community, with support for many other Rotary projects worldwide. Through these international projects the Rotary Club of Deloraine helps instil a sense of pride in the local community – through “their Fair” they can bring about significant change in the lives of disadvantaged people all over the world.
Projects to benefit from Fair funding include:
• Community: including aged care facilities, Giant Steps school for autistic children, Chudleigh Show Society, Aussie Helpers, local schools.
• Youth: including running the state-wide Model United Nations Assembly, a Learn to Swim school, sponsoring children to attend programs in Tasmania and interstate designed to encourage high achievers and future leaders to realise their potential.
• Vocational: funding tertiary scholarships, apprentice and trainee awards and international visits by leading individuals in their field.
• International: including Polio eradication, the protection of albino children in Africa and the identification and cataloguing of plants in local areas that can help eradicate malnutrition.
In addition, about 20 per cent of the funds raised goes straight back to other community organisations (eg Apex and Lions, church groups) that supply volunteers to assist in the running of the Fair. In many cases, this is their major fundraising event for the year.
The benefits to the local community reach far beyond the re-investment of funds raised into development, infrastructure and community-building projects. Every business owner from the local butcher and baker to tourism operator benefits from the influx of more than 30,000 visitors to the Tasmanian Craft Fair each year.
The Craft Fair has also provided an outlet for Tasmanian arts and craftspeople to demonstrate the. In several cases, exhibiting at the Craft Fair has allowed what was a small hobby to grow into a major international business opportunity that would otherwise not be in the grasp of these small operators.