Fundraising for your local communities!

Announcing winners of the $10,000 give away to local communities 2018

$10,000 Give away - a recap!

There is something nice about being generous! Let me explain… I was on a holiday in Holland whilst my $10,000 give-away to local communities was running. For those of you who don’t know about the give-away, here is a little recap.

How it all started

It all pretty much started when Rohan (my husband) and myself bought Halls Gap Lakeside Tourist Park as a VERY RUN DOWN business which was running at a loss.

We had to find a way of spreading the word. Giving is something which comes natural to us so I started to think about a creative way to give away with the hopeful result of people starting to talk about us, visit the park and experience what we do. We used to be very involved in fundraising activities for the Lorne Kinder Garten. I was always so embarrassed asking the same businesses over and over for donations we could raffle off. So the idea to give away vouchers to kindergartens was born than. We have further evolved this and last year was our first massive $10,000 give away to local communities.  It was well received! So this year we did the following:

We decided to gift $10,000 worth of vouchers to local communities in 7 different categories, including Playgroup, Kindergarten, Charitable Organisation, Sporting Club, Primary School, Secondary School and Individual. Sporting Clubs had the opportunity to win first, second or third prize and the prize for the individual with the most nominations was $500 worth of accommodation. All other categories had the opportunity to win $1,000 of accommodation vouchers. All that was required was nominations! The most nominated would win, it was easy as that. The competition ran for a month and ended on 15 July.

Meet Paul Denson

As I came home from my trip overseas visiting my mum, our team at Halls Gap Lakeside had announced all winners and basically taken care of everything. There was a message from a gentleman named Paul Denson who really wanted to meet the person behind the giveaway. Paul had not only won the Individual category, but Horsham College, where Paul teaches, won the prize in the Secondary School category.

Well, Paul and I did meet, and he nearly made me cry! He was so overwhelmed by our generosity that he couldn’t express his gratefulness…

Left: Paul Denson winner of the individual category and Right: Owner operator Josephina McDonald
Left Paul Denson winner of the individual category and Right: Owner operator Josephina McDonald

Now I am a bit of a sucker when it comes to helping people. There is a reason why I have a bachelor’s degree in social work. I found it exceptionally heart-warming that Paul took the time to personally visit to say thanks!

This giveaway has been a lot of fun. Throughout the year, we are bombarded with fundraising requests. We hear a lot of sad stories and this giveaway allows a variety of community groups to benefit without us having to pick and choose a worthy recipient. We relied upon the community to engage and promote the competition within their networks to get the votes rolling in.

The responsibility is out of my hands into yours!


The competition is a win-win situation. I could spend $10,000 on marketing, with the money disappearing in cyberspace, or I could engage with the locals to help spread the word and at the same time get rewarded with accommodation vouchers. I believe this is money well spent and I’m sure you agree!

Local communities getting involved

We have mapped the origins from which the votes flowed, and the results are interesting. It’s not a world map, but we did have entries all the way from South Africa and Holland! It’s amazing that people from all over the world were talking about this $10,000 give-away to local communities!

Locations of where people lived at moment of voting for $10,00 give away!
Locations of entries within Australia.
This picture displays the location of all the entries for the $10,000 give away within Victoria.
Location of entries within Victoria

We received 6,329 entries, with the most popular category being Sporting Clubs, followed by Primary Schools and then Charitable Organisations. The category with the least nominations was the Individual category, which surprised me with so many people doing it hard. But Paul was very grateful and has already decided to donate his $500 voucher back to his local community… and so the giving goes on and on! The opportunities are endless.

How to particpate next time?

This will not be our last give away. It makes us feel good to be generous and Paul made us feel that it was very much appreciated, so cheers to Paul! To find out more about our next fundraising giveaway, visit this page:

To the winners, all the very best with your fundraising efforts. To the rest of you, make sure you buy raffle tickets or bid on the auction for those vouchers as we would love to have you stay with us. We recently received a 9.8 score on Hotels Combined.

We must be doing something right! Oh, and by the way, did you know about our wood fire heated pool?

Congratulations again to our winners:

Charitable Organisation WALA Animal Sanctuary
Individual Paul Denson
Kindergarten Tenison Woods College Early Learning Centre
Playgroup Rainbow Playgroup
Primary School Colac Specialist School
Secondary School Horsham College
Sporting Club/Organisation 1st = Donald Community Precinct

2nd = Kalangadoo Football Netball Club

3rd = Laharum Football Netball Club

See you soon!

Wherever you are from, you are always welcome, and we sincerely hope to meet you one day!

Best Regards

Josephina and the team at Halls Gap Lakeside.

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