Neighbours give $5000 to bushfire appeal

FIRE APPEAL: Wellington Rotary Club president Ruston Smith with Bob Colley (Mudgee Rotary) and Margaret Barnes (Mudgee Sunrise Rotary) donates $5054.70.

FIRE APPEAL: Wellington Rotary Club president Ruston Smith with Bob Colley (Mudgee Rotary) and Margaret Barnes (Mudgee Sunrise Rotary) donates $5054.70.

The Central West NSW Bushfire Disaster Relief (RABS) has received a $5000-plus boost from Wellington Rotary Club, which is looking to help their neighbours ravaged by blazes.

In February the Rotary Club of Mudgee and Mudgee Sunrise jointly sponsored and established a fund to assist individuals and families suffering significant loss and distress from the fires.

President of Wellington Rotary Club Ruston Smith visited Mudgee on Friday to present the Mudgee clubs with $5054.70 for the appeal.

“We keep money aside in a special account to cater for these kind of things,” he said.

“We’ve had the view for a number of years now that ‘one day it’ll happen to us’ and while this hasn’t happened in our area as such ... it’s our neighbours.”

Mr Smith said the Sir Ivan fire – which was recently declared out after it burned about 55,000 hectares – did get very close to home for the Wellington club.

“For us the Dunedoo fire was the main one because a lot of us have got relatives who live in the fire zone,” he said.

“I have a good friend whose nephew was completely burned out. That family lost everything. It’s a horrifying thing.”

The blaze destroyed 35 homes in Uarbry and its surrounds, about 5,700 kilometres of fencing, and killed 430 sheep, 55 cattle, 325 goats and three alpacas.

Rotary Club of Mudgee president Graham Taylor said the appeal has received strong support from locals, with donation tins thankfully coming back heavy.

“All we can say is ‘thank you’.” 

To donate online go to http://bit.ly/2nl6DNs

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