COMMEMORATING BIRTH IN A LIVING MONUMENT
 
An initiative from Frankston’s newest Rotary Club, Peninsula 2.0, the Birth Tree Project is now in its fourth year and commemorates the births of babies born in the local community, in the form of a living monument.  This year also had added excitement with the first unveiling of the Family Garden, where older family members can also be recognised.  Peninsula 2.0 President Emily Barr said that “Planting trees in recognition of births is a valuable way to encourage lifelong connections between children, their city of birth and their local environment”.
The Unveiling Ceremony was attended by over 100 registered family and friends, as well as Frankston Mayor Cr Michael O'Reilly, MP Chris Crewther, and Cr Steve Toms, who has shown great support of this project. The day included a short ceremony where a plaque containing all babies and children registered were revealed, as well as free children’s entertainment to help celebrate the day. Each registered baby received a certificate and a small plant as a gift. 
Rotary’s philosophy is to fundraise money to pass onto others, so it was appropriate that money raised from registrations for the 2018 Birth Tree were donated to the local community, this year going to the Special Care Nursery at Frankston Hospital.  Allison Conroy-Joyce, Nurse Unit Manager of the Special Care Nursery attended the Ceremony and was presented with a cheque for $5,000 from Project Leaders Carmen Griffiths and Gill Casey.  Allison explained that this money will be used to purchase a much-needed Humidifier for ventilator/respiratory support.
Registrations are now open for babies born in 2019, or for anyone wishing to be a part of the 2019 Family Garden.  For more information, visit http://www.rotarypeninsula.org/birth-tree or https://www.facebook.com/birthtree/