SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – As bushfires burn across Australia, many people in Savannah may be wondering how they can help.
The Collins Quarter, along with The Fitzroy and The Deck, are Australian restaurants owned by Melbourne, Australia native Anthony Debreceny is hosting fundraisers to help fire services back home.
On Tuesday, Jan. 14 at the Collins Quarter 100% of dinner proceeds will be donated to the Australian Rural Fire Service Trustee. Because there was so much support for the fundraiser, the restaurant group decided to host a second “overflow” event at the Fitzroy on Thursday, Jan. 16.
Dennis Reidlinger is a restaurant customer and a fellow Aussie.
“I was back early in November and the fires were just starting then,” said Reidlinger. “It’s been going on for months now so yeah, it’s pretty nerve-wracking.”
Luckily, most of Reidlinger’s family lives on the coast, but closer inland, more than 100 wildfires are burning everything in sight. At least 25 people, including three volunteer firefighters, have died since the fires broke out.
“It is difficult you know to watch Australia burn and not be able to do anything physically about it,” said Kirstie Schwindaman, Marketing Director for the restaurant group. “We really wanted to do what we could within the Savannah community.”
Now, Savannah’s Australian transplants are hoping to help their home country. Every sent of the restaurant fundraisers will go toward much-needed equipment for firefighters at ground zero.
”Currently, they are breathing in these toxic smokes because they don’t have the equipment they need to have,” said Schwindaman.
The goal is to raise more than $10,000 of relief aid — money they know will only begin the process of recovery.
“It’s definitely going to help a lot of people in Australia,” said Reidlinger. “The firefighters, they’re doing it really tough and yea they need all the support they can get.”
There will be dinner and raffles all night. The regular dinner menu will be served.
Those who plan to attend the Collins Quarter fundraiser will need to make a reservation for a table Tuesday night. Reservations can be made online here.
Reservations for the Fitzroy event on Thursday night can be made online as well. Simply visit here.
For anyone who is unable to make it to the dinners, the restaurant group has a Facebook fundraiser up for The Trustee for NSW Rural Fire Service & Brigades Donations Fund.