Posted by Shalini Penny on Jul 13, 2023
Rotary is no stranger to the weekend BBQ outside their local butcher or Bunnings; however, the Rotary Club of Emerald & District has taken this fundraiser to new heights by a collaborative initiative with Puffing Billy Railway for the spectacular event “The Train of Lights.”
When Puffing Billy Railway approached Emerald Rotary with the proposition of running a BBQ on each night of the "Train of Lights" extravaganza, the Club eagerly presented the idea to its members.
Following an overwhelming response, it was unanimously decided that they would rise to the challenge and man all 18 consecutive nights!
On Thursday, June 22nd, the BBQ marathon kicked off with a trial run alongside the Train of Lights journey. A dedicated team of seven enthusiastic Rotary Club members and their partners set up shop at the Gembrook Railway station, skilfully juggling sizzling sausages, onions, and a deluge of happy travellers who had just experienced the breathtaking spectacle of landscapes illuminated by lights.
A comprehensive roster was prepared, ensuring coverage for the entire duration of the event from Thursday June 22nd to Sunday, July 9th. Some of the Club members worked 6 or 7 nights, others 2 or 3 however all rallied round and even a prospective member worked 1 shift
Determining the quantities of sausages, bread, and onions required posed a challenge.  All items were sourced locally.  With support from Alan from Emerald Meats, (renowned for his commitment to community BBQs) even though it was an unusual order, he worked closely with the Club to guarantee a seamless supply of top-quality sausages
While this marks Emerald Rotary's first involvement in this venture, Puffing Billy Railway is in its second with plans to hold the event again in the same time slot next year – so The Emerald Rotary Marathon BBQ is set to become a cherished tradition.