Horsham Lions Club distributes more than $50,000 to fire-affected residents

HORSHAM Lions Club has distributed more than $50,000 to people affected in January's bushfire in the northern Grampians.

Club secretary Graham Wakefield said the Australian Lions Foundation approved the grant after a visit from district governor Stewart Pyers.

"He came up and we took him around and we met with locals and people who had been burnt out in Wartook, Laharum and Brimpaen," he said.

Mr Wakefield said the money had been made available through the foundation's emergency and recovery grants program.

He said the amount provided by the national foundation was more than the club initially asked for.

"They, in their wisdom, have done it before and they said 'look, you're going to find there's going to be other people who are going to come out of the woodwork, whose insurance did not come through'," Mr Wakefield said.

"In their generosity they then made this money available."

Lions clubs across Australia contribute money towards the grants program.

Mr Wakefield said the response from people who had received money had been overwhelmingly positive.

"There are a lot of people and it's been quite emotional," he said.

"People have been contacting us and saying thank you for the help."

The grants come on top of other efforts by the club, which swung into action as soon as the fire hit.

"Our club members have been very busy with it because we were down there and feeding the BlazeAid people during the first three days and then every Monday after that," Mr Wakefield said.

"We're currently looking around to see about firewood for people who have been burnt out."

He said it was important the community continued to support tourist operators and business owners in Laharum, Wartook and Brimpaen.

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