After being the bridesmaid for the past two years, Richies IGA Cobram swept aside all challengers at the recent 2018 IGA Awards, taking out the community award in recognition for the support it has provided the town.
The annual awards night was held in Melbourne on March 3, with stores and departments from all IGA stores across Victoria recognised for their excellence.
The Cobram store’s victory came largely off the back of its family days which are held each year in support of the local CFA and SES.
The family days involve monster raffles which raise money for the two groups so they can purchase much-needed equipment, which in turn directly benefits the community.
The store has also worked closely with Barooga Lions Club to assist dairy farmers in the area.
Acutely aware of the struggles dairy farmers face, the store hosted a Christmas lunch for them.
Store manager Mandy Hawke said she was proud of the way IGA stores around Victoria were able to give back to the community.
‘‘This is over and beyond the donations many local groups receive from our Community Benefit Card Program — $47million across all our stores has been donated back into small communities such as ours from this program,’’ she said.
‘‘This is why I love working for a company that is willing to support small towns such as ours.
‘‘I am lucky enough to have wonderful staff at store level that happily volunteer their time and effort in support of many of these events we hold.’’
Mrs Hawke said while it was nice for staff to be acknowledged for their work, they never set out to win awards.
‘‘We do these things to help the community,’’ she said.
‘‘Some people need support and we are just happy that we can contribute in a small way.’’