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A group of friends who started a mobile coffee van in Horsham have donated its profits to Wimmera Health Care Group Foundation.

The friends were all committee members of Horsham United Football Club in 2013 when then junior football director Robert Goudie suggested a coffee van would be a good investment. He and brother Richard then approached staunch club supporters Steve and Sue Hayden of Horsham company Wombat Conversions about building a custom-designed mobile coffee van.

The van was built over the summer and Robert and fellow club committee members Janette Taylor, Christine Chapple and Peter Miller were trained as baristas in preparation for the coming season.

Robert said the timing wasn’t ideal because the club lost players at the start of that season and merged with Natimuk Football Club in Horsham District Football League.

“The new club chose not to buy the van so we were left with a brand new van and trained volunteer baristas with no one to service,” Robert said.

“At the time, the Wimmera Cancer Centre was in the throes of seeking funding to start building so we all decided we would commit all profits there,” he said.

“We spent the next few years attending football matches and various community events making coffee and selling hot jam donuts.

“By the time we had made enough profit to pay for the van, the cancer centre no longer required the funding, so we are presenting $35,000 to the foundation instead.”

Mr Goudie said the experience was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

“There were times at some of the bigger events where we just went flat chat making coffee for long lines of customers but we had plenty of fun moments along the way,” he said.

“There was plenty of friendly banter about who was the best barista.”

The group was able to finalise its donation after selling the coffee van to Horsham caterer Brad Wade who provides a regular morning service from O’Callaghan Parade.

Foundation chair Graeme Hardman was very impressed with the donation.

“The foundation is always appreciative of such a generous donation,” Mr Hardman said.

“The more donations, the more we are able to invest in hospital infrastructure,” he said.

“We recently purchased a colposcope for gynecology and we are looking at funding a theatre tracking system in the near future.”

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