A team effort
Determined to credit her cohorts for the café’s success, the mother of two, grandmother of five and great grandmother of six, says the accomplishments achieved by the group are first and foremost down to the calibre of the personalities on the café committee.
“It was at the start, as it is now, well endowed with talent. It [initially] included two retired domestic science teachers, two with floral art backgrounds, three very experienced cooks and a secretary, all foodies,” she says.
And successful it has been.
As of three months ago, the St John’s Cafe led by its formidable leader, has raised nearly $215,000, all of which has been donated to local charities both inside and outside of the church.
Naturally, the café’s lengthy history means some committee members have had to resign their positions, however they have been replaced with a seemingly endless list of enthusiasts only too willing to lend a hand.
Mavis says the volunteer team of kitchen staff and waitresses, has now attracted several younger members. Currently, it boasts a roster of more than four dozen helpers, with the youngest being just 50 and the oldest nearing 90.
Such has been its popularity, the café boasts a number of “regulars”, including a group of between 12 and 14 of Mavis’s fellow residents from Aveo Fountain Court.
Those intending to dine there must now make a booking first or risk being turned away.
“Everybody seems to love it,” says Mavis.
“We’re very fortunate because we get to serve in the foyer of the church and it’s a lovely outlook. When we first started church leaders expressed some concern because the area is carpeted – more than 20 years later and there’s still no damage to the carpet, we’re pretty proud of that.”
Mavis says it has been a great honour being involved with the initiative and insists her efforts were no more than that given by others.
“It came at a time in my life that I just lost my husband when I was 64. After he died I joined a few community groups however I felt I had something more to contribute.
“The thing I enjoy most about it is when we have a meeting and say ‘okay, who are we going to give the money to today?’. That to me makes it so worthwhile.
But I must tell you, I’ve got an awful lot more back more than I’ve ever given,” she says.
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