The Islander recently visited The Shed at American River and met and talked to the ladies in the spotless kitchen, preparing the regular Friday night dinner for the nearly 300 members of the American River Community and Sports Association.
Jane Guider is the president and as she busily chopped, cooked and created massive amounts of delicious food, she talked about what The Shed does, not only for the American River community, but also for the others on Kangaroo Island.
Jane said, “People need to know what we do with the money we raise.
“In the last four year we have given $6000 to the tennis courts at the River.
“We give all the KICE campuses $100 each, three times a year, for their Breakfast Clubs.
“We also give a Junior Scholarship of $1000 for under 18s to assist with travel, sport or equipment – it’s open for application now.
“Money was donated to the Hospital Auxiliary for the morgue update and for an infusion room, and we donate to Anglicare, AngelFlight, RFDS, the Cancer Support Group and the Men’s Shed, Kingscote.
“$1000 has been pledged towards the skatepark in Kingscote and we gave money to help our gymnnasts for their recent trip to Helsinki.
“We also sponsor the American River Tennis Club, softball, darts and eight ball.”
The money is raised from membership fees, raffles, fund raisers such as their popular Gala Day, the kitchen and the bar, and it is all run by the hard-working and dedicated volunteers.
The Association has to maintain the building and all their equipment, pay their rates and insurance and recently fitted 80 solar panels which cost $30,000, paid for by themselves. They also constructed the children’s playground.
The air conditioning has had to be replaced, and all the tables and chairs needed upgrading.
They recently purchased 14 acres nearby and have offered space for the installation of the much-needed fuel pumps, (there is no fuel available in the town) but have not heard back from Council yet, despite letters sent by them and on their behalf by member for Finniss Michael Pengilly MP.
Many other community groups use The Shed – the Cook Centre members come for lunch, play pool and bocce, and there are indoor bowls and exercise classes.
The dining room is open three nights a week; Tuesday for schnitzels, Friday is a mixed menu and Saturday is takeaway night. The food is, of course, prepared by the wonderful volunteers.
Jane said, “We would like to thank everyone that has supported us over the years and to all that come to our meals and functions.”