HUNDREDS of people flocked to Halls Gap at the weekend to thank the fire-fighters who worked tirelessly to save the community from last month’s bushfire crisis.
Residents and visitors dug deep to raise more than $8000 for the region’s Country Fire Authority brigades on Saturday.
Halls Gap Cricket Club president Ned Leithhead said the initiative started with a few money tins placed around town to collect donations.
“At first we just started shaking a few tins – we thought we’d use the money to put on a barbecue to say thanks to all the CFA, DEPI and Parks Victoria fire-fighters,” he said.
“Then we thought we’d make it a bit bigger. We ended up having a big pool party, live music and a visit from Channel 7’s Sam Armytage and personal trainer Cameron Byrnes.”
The pair filmed footage for Channel 7’s up-coming series, Bringing Sexy Back.
Mr Leithhead said about 400 people dropped by the Halls Gap Swimming Pool during the event.
Live music and pool activities started at noon, with games and competitions run throughout the afternoon.
Mr Leithhead said an auction raised $3690. Among the donated items were a cricket bat signed by the Victorian Bushrangers and an Essendon football jumper.
“After the auction we had a barbecue tea and then the band Kritta played into the night,” Mr Leithead said. “It was a great day.”
Mr Leithhead thanked the people who supported the event.
He said the money would be used to buy head-torches for the region’s fire brigades, including those in Halls Gap, Laharum, Wartook and Dadswells Bridge.
He said people could still contribute by donating money in tins set up in Stony Creek shops.