FOCUS at North Ballarat Sports Club is firmly on how to best help fire relief efforts across the state's east the next month.
Money raised in the club's weekly community charity raffles through January will support the Country Fire Authority, as will all spare change tallied up in collection boxes about the club, which will match the donation dollar-for-dollar. Funds will also be boosted with a special bingo night at the club on January 14.
The club's charity foundation North Cares has also set up a collection point for non-perishable food, toiletries and water for Gippsland Farmer Relief. Hay bales can also be donated.
North Cares' essential supplies drive is working in partnership with PRDnationwide Ballarat where staff have been driving donations to Traralgon for distribution via Bairnsdale Relief Cente.
North Ballarat chief executive officer Scott Seward said it was important as a community to work together in supporting others. Club staff had seen the PRD call-out and felt this was a way they too could channel their efforts.
MORE: Click on the photo below for more about PRD nationwide Ballarat's call-out
"It is better to work with others as much as we can," Mr Seward said. "People are really wanting to do something to help and we thought, what could we do as a club. This provides a way for others to help, who might not know how....Hopefully this can help a little."
Mr Seward said the response to the initial Thursday night raffle had been positive. He said scenes from East Gippsland and southern New South Wales in particular had been overwhelming and hoped this was a way Ballarat could band together in support.
Gippsland Farmer Relief has requested donations of tinned goods including peas, corn and carrots, soup, water, long life milk, breakfast cereals, pasta, rice, toilet paper, tissues, pasta sauces, dog and cat food, tuna, tomato sauce, flour, sugar, tea, coffee, snack foods and toiletries.
Meanwhile, City of Ballarat has donated $20,000 to the relief appeal. Ballarat deputy mayor Belinda Coates said the City had also offered equipment and key emergency response personnel to the East Gippsland and Towong councils.
Cr Coates said council was working closely with Emergency Management Victoria for the best approach while also balancing needs to respond to any likely fire threat in this region.
City of Ballarat will also active relief collections at major events, like Summer Sundays.
Elsewhere about Ballarat, Parents Without Partners raised $560 for the relief appeal via the Ballarat branch's New Year's Eve dance and Messer and Opie is donating new clothing and collecting food and toiletries.
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