Vinnies Warrnambool has celebrated its 50th birthday with a big gathering at its Fairy Street base.
Two of the store’s longest serving volunteers – Joyce Lehman and Nell Dorney – helped cut the cake in front of a number of distinguished guests.
Mrs Lehman has volunteered for 48 years and said she was thrilled to have so many people along to celebrate.
“Yes it is a very special day because I’ve seen so many changes over the 50 years,” she said.
Nell Dorney has volunteered at Vinnies Warrnambool for 42 years and said she had enjoyed her experience.
“It’s been an absolutely wonderful place. I love all the volunteers and the customers, we meet some lovely ladies and men,” Mrs Dorney said.
Warrnambool Vinnies store manager Kevin Bond said the store had 64 volunteers, 12 of which were more than 80 years old.
“I’m proud of them every day. They’re a good bunch. They’re loyal, they’re consistent and they’re fun,” Mr Bond said.
The chief executive officer of the St. Vincent de Paul Society in Victoria Sue Cattermole spoke at the event and said it was a pleasure to help celebrate the historic feat with volunteers.
“It’s actually incredible the effort that people have put in and the support for the organisation,” she said.
“There’s a lot of need in Warrnambool and it continues to grow so the importance of the store has not diminished over time. It’s still an absolutely vital part of the community to provide that support.”
There are 110 Vinnies stores across Victoria with about 5,900 volunteers.