GIVING BACK: The event raised funds for the Fernvale and Wivenhoe Pocket Fire Brigades, who recently fended off a major blaze near Wivenhoe Dam. Picture: Dominic Elsome
GIVING BACK: The event raised funds for the Fernvale and Wivenhoe Pocket Fire Brigades, who recently fended off a major blaze near Wivenhoe Dam. Picture: Dominic Elsome

Pub fundraiser collects $2000 for local fire brigade heroes

A SOMERSET community has demonstrated an outpouring of support for its local rural fire brigades, raising nearly $2000 in a recent fundraiser.

The event was hosted at the Brisbane Valley Tavern at Fernvale on January 1, and was organised by former BVT manager Scott Petrie, who made the trip down from Melbourne to take part.

From 2pm into the evening, visitors gathered to celebrate the start of the new year, with live music and good food, and thanked local firefighters for their efforts.

“We had a lot of bands help out, they came in and played for us,” current tavern manager Nikki Amante said.

“We were at full capacity, and we had people coming and going throughout the day.”

There were raffles, auctions, and donations, and Nikki contributed 15 per cent of the bar and restaurant sales from the evening to the fundraiser as well.

The event raised $2000 in total, which was divided evenly between the Fernvale and Wivenhoe Pocket Rural Fire Brigades, which were instrumental in fending off the fires at Wivenhoe Pocket in December.

“We’re very grateful to them, they’re the heroes,” Nikki said.

“Every time they go out there they put their lives on the line, so we need to give back and help.”

The event proved popular with locals and, given its success, Nikki said the tavern was planning to make it an annual event.

“Every New Year from now on, we’ll be doing a fundraiser for the fireys, that’s our goal now,” she said.

“We’d like people to help, and raise as much money as they can.”

Given the ongoing fire danger, the tavern is also planning to follow up with a second fundraiser later this month.

“We’re doing a second one on Australia Day. I’m paying two bands to come in,” Nikki said.

“We’ve got all of the Australia Day games going on, so we’re hoping to bring in more people and raise double the funds for the fireys.”


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