During 2013, Disaster Aid Australia was delighted to welcome Mercedes-Benz Australia (through its trucks, buses and vans division) as a major sponsor. And to mark that sponsorship, a raffle to win a new Mercedes-Benz Vito Van, generously donated by Mercedes-Benz Australia was launched Australia-wide.
Described as a powerful yet efficient EURO 5 diesel 2.2 litre turbocharged engine and a 6-speed ECO gear manual transmission, with a host of standard safety features including load Adaptive Electronic Stability Program and dual front airbags, it is the only van to achieve a five star ANCAP safety rating. As our sponsor says of the Vito Van, "it's not just a van that drives like a car, it's a van that drives like a Mercedes-Benz!"
The raffle was well supported – within Rotary clubs as well as the general public – and the much-anticipated draw for this prestige vehicle was held at the Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific HQ in suburban Mulgrave (Melbourne) in early January. And under the watchful eyes of Dr Kolja Rebstock (left), General Manager (commercial vehicles), PP Bob Powell, Chairman of Disaster Aid Australia, members of the RC Endeavour Hills (D9820) and Mercedes-Benz staffers,
Ms Diane Tarr, General Manager (Vans) drew the winning ticket. And, the winner was … the Rotary Club of Bairnsdale (D9820 Vic.)
Immediately after the draw, Dr Rebstock said, "Mercedes-Benz is proud to be a major sponsor of Disaster Aid Australia. It is a great Rotary club project that is making a real difference in the world and we look forward to an ongoing relationship."
And Disaster Aid Australia's Bob Powell commented, “the raffle was a great success, raising much-needed funds for DAA, particularly for our ongoing work in the Typhoon-ravaged Philippines." He thanked those who generously supported the raffle, noting that a significant number of tickets sold were from the general public responding to the national press advertisements. He said, "everyone was a winner: the sponsorship by Mercedes-Benz has given DAA a much higher profile, while the related advertising in national newspapers has also contributed to Rotary awareness."
Gillian Reeve, Bairnsdale club treasurer was the first to receive a call from Bob Powell: it is reported she was in shock for some time! Perfectly understandable reaction we all agreed.
Peter Faulkner and Colin Speirs from the Rotary Club of Endeavour Hills visited the Bairnsdale club soon after the win to officially share the news with President Brian Ross and his excited members. The club took delivery of the vehicle soon after saying the ultimate beneficiaries of the win will be the local community, along with Rotary projects.