The Uber Markets have been saved
ON THE day stallholders learned the Warwick Uber Markets would close, a solitary vendor went to the Warwick Lions Club barbecue and suggested its turquoise-shirted volunteers take over.
The idea struck a chord with the service club and it roared into action.
Yesterday, the Lions received approval from the Southern Downs Regional Council to assume leadership.
This weekend will be the last time Uber Markets founder Christie Shepherd will run the event, with the Lions set to take over in April.
The decision means the markets will continue without interruption.
Lions president Jenny Rainbird said it was a natural fit for her group.
"We thought it would be a good fundraiser,” she said.
"It is already set up, so we don't have to do too much work and the money raised will go direct to the community.”
Mrs Shepherd let go of the markets after the council raised concerns about stallholders driving on the Leslie Park grass and damaging irrigation.
The council and Lions talked about preventing further damage and Mrs Rainbird said it would not be a problem.
"We will work with the council to make sure everyone does the right thing,” she said.
"The council knows some of the stallholders' vehicles will have to go on to the lawn and we will make sure people know where the dripper pipes are.”
The market format will stay the same, with one small administration change.
The Warwick Lions will not cover liability insurance for vendors.
Instead stallholders will have to pay for their coverage.
Mrs Rainbird said insurance fees ate into the fundraising potential.
"It's about $1000 that we would have to pay, just in case someone did not have their own,” she said.
"But these days everyone has liability insurance."
All the money raised through stall fees will feed in to Lions charity work.
Since the start of the year it donated about $6000 to organisations like LifeFlight, Drought Relief Australia and the Townsville Flood Relief Appeal.
In 2018 the organisation donated about $20,000 to local and national charities.
Mrs Shepherd said she was happy to see another organisation benefit from the markets she started.
"It should be really great,” she said.
"We're going to have a good chat on Saturday and we will discuss a few things.”
However the extra workload means the Warwick Lions Club needs new members.
If you're looking for a relaxed way to help your community phone Mrs Rainbird on 0432804826.