EnergySafe Magazine Summer 2019, issue 56 - Page 7 ESV announces 2019 Canteen Hero By Anitra Robertson, Senior Communications Advisor In October, ESV celebrated footy clubs’ unsung heroes – the canteen volunteers – by announcing the winner of our 2019 Canteen Hero award, Bert Van Lith from the Drysdale Football Netball Club. ESV presented the award on 28 October at the club’s AGM. Unaware of the proceedings, Bert was completely surprised and sincerely humbled to receive the recognition and by his club’s appreciation for his years of service. In addition to an engraved plaque and letter of congratulations from the Director of Energy Safety, Bert will also receive a $1,000 grant towards the purchase of new electrical or gas appliances for the Drysdale FNC canteen. Following the successful handout of 30 Canteen Grants to AFL Victoria football clubs from across Victoria, totalling $25,000, we wrapped up our 2019 grants season with the inaugural award to recognise the contribution of volunteers to club canteens. More than 70 nominations were submitted, and in a few cases, multiple nominations for the same Canteen Hero. We were thrilled to see so many clubs genuinely appreciative of the people who keep their meat pies warm and drinks cool throughout the season. The task to select finalists and a winner was undeniably challenging. Every nomination received illustrated a Canteen Hero devoting their weekends and Thursday nights to preparing meals, managing stock, seeking out healthy food options and spending hours serving hungry patrons. Ten finalists were selected and from those emerged our winner – Bert, from Drysdale. Commended by his club for 40 years’ of service (20 in the kitchen), Bert has never missed a game and works tirelessly in the kitchen each Thursday night and weekend. Winner Bert Van Lith Drysdale Football Netball Club During finals and on grand final day Bert co-ordinated the kitchen, committing to the fryers for over 10 hours each day. His infamous ‘Berty’s Schnitz’ is a local legend, with the club’s final comment on its submission stating, “every club needs a Bert”. Catherine Quinn & Nadine Scoble Corio Community Sports Club We also warmly congratulate our nine other finalists, listed on the right. It was a near impossible task to separate them from the winner with every nominee an inspiration and so well appreciated by their club. Energy Safe Victoria, AFL Victoria and your footy club thanks all who support their local club and canteen. We look forward to seeing more nominations in 2020 for our Canteen Grants Program and Canteen Hero Award. Other finalists Sue Lea Calivil United Football Netball Club Joedi Scanga Diamond Creek Women’s Football Club (DCWFC) Casey Callanan Gormandale Football Netball Club Joy Trotter-Harris Hamilton Kangaroos Football Netball Club Karen Dixon Korumburra-Bena Football Netball Club Jim Macilwain Maryborough Football Netball Club Vicki Endrei North Shore Football & Netball Club Kenny Alvin Wy Yung Football Netball Club A number of nominees have been supporting their club’s canteen for many years – some for more than 40 years! It was clear to us that every one of our nominees is indeed an unsung hero to their beloved club, and without them and their tightknit community, AFL Victoria footy clubs would not be the success they are today. Not all heroes wear caps: Bert with ESV's Jonathan Granger. 07