AS FIRES rage across the countryside, Australians are doing what they do best, banding together, with the Portarlington Business Development Association (PBDA) doing their bit on January 5.
President John Rae said PBDA were spurred into action watching people lose their homes, farms, equipment and in some instances, their lives during catastrophic fires.
“The demands and workload placed on our fire fighters and volunteers is immense and they have been remarkable. This led us to see what Portarlington could do to assist in some way.
“We felt, in conjunction with Joe Bartalotta from Daniels Donuts, that a fundraiser was the best way to proceed. We estimated that we could raise $5,000 and set about organising the event the following day (January 5).”
After reaching out to neighbouring groups and locals Mr Rae said they were overwhelmed with the response.
“We received overwhelming response and support from Lions – who supplied muscle and barbecue experience – the Portarlington CFA, Portarlington Golf Club, our Community Bank, RSL and Woolworths who supplied the sausages.
“The Portarlington Bakehouse supplied the bread and rolls and regular visitors to the area Angie and Vid Tasic supplied all the drinks and ice.”
The Portarlington community supplied the rest; cooking utensils, barbecues, gas bottles and equipment required for the event.
“Setup began at 8am on Sunday and volunteers arrived offering to work throughout the day, the response by the Portarlington community as always was amazing.
“People began arriving around 9.30am and kept coming until 4pm buying, sausages, drinks and making donations with Daniels Donuts supplying 1,800 free donuts throughout the day.”
Mr Rae said together PBDA and Joe Bartalotta, in conjunction with the efforts and generosity of the community and visitors, achieved a fantastic outcome.
“We had a fantastic result with our target of $5,000 being smashed. The final result was $13,641.60. This has been placed into the Portarlington community bank’s Vic. Bushfire Disaster appeal.
“This is a great effort by our community and visitors to the town. I wanted to thank everyone, they should be proud of the efforts and generosity put into this bush fire fundraiser.”