IT’S the end of an era, with a Warrnambool open-heart surgery support group forced to call it quits.
The Warrnambool Zipper Health Support Network was unable to get new office-bearers for the 2013-14 period, which meant it had to fold.
The decision meant $975 was donated equally to Peter’s Project, Rotary House, St John of God Hospital and South West Healthcare.
President Lindsay Miller said the group, which was formed in 1997, had little choice but to wind down.
He said all office-bearers were more than 80 years old and there were no younger people coming through.
“Age is the problem,” he said. “It’s very sad it had go.”
The group was formed by bike riders, headed by Alex O’Flynn, who called themselves the zipper club because all had open-heart surgery.
In the early years it was a support and fund-raising group and raised more than $15,000 towards equipment for South West Healthcare.
The group later focused its attention on providing support for people who had any form of cardiovascular disease and their carers.
It also had professionally-trained members to help people with emotional problems.
Peter’s Project founder Vicki Jellie said it was sad that the zipper club had folded but she was appreciative it had thought of Peter’s Project.
“The money will be put to good use, to another health- related group,” she said.
Rotary House board chairman Andrew Suggett said work on Rotary House was going well and it would officially open on November 22.
The Warrnambool Zipper Health Support Network also donated its PA system to Warrnambool Combined Health Support and is donating a projector and screen to Gillin Park Social Club.
The group will continue to meet socially each month for lunch at Macey’s Bistro.