Fire funds

By Russel Bennett
WESTPAC has come to Emerald Junior Fire Brigade’s rescue.
The bank recently presented a cheque for over $1300 to the brigade after community fundraising events more than 25 kilometres away.
Brigade co-ordinator and Emerald fireman Trevor Ireland said the Emerald outfit shared a unique, yet fortunate relationship with the Endeavour Hills Westpac branch.
“Westpac is a general sponsor of the CFA,” he said.
“But given that there’s no Endeavour Hills brigade, the branch there raised and donated money to us as their manager is an Emerald resident.”
Mr Ireland said the money was presented to the junior brigade rather and not the seniors because the younger members “needed that much more of a boost”.
“We do a lot of training and go through quite a few hoses,” he said.
“Each firehose costs around $180.”
The money was raised through a sausage sizzle and a special art auction featuring work by Parkinson’s sufferers.
Pieces created by those in the Painting with Parkinson’s program sold for a combined $600.
“It was really a fantastic effort,” Mr Ireland said.
“We, as a brigade, didn’t have to handle anything.
“Westpac organised the lot, from the sausage sizzle to the auction.”
Endeavour Hills Westpac manager Monika Litchfield presented a cheque on behalf of the bank at a recent brigade presentation night.
“Earlier this year, Westpac became a major sponsor of the CFA Victoria and as a bank manager living locally, I approached Paul from the Emerald CFA about how I could help him,” Ms Litchfield said.
“Paul explained to me that their funding was okay due to the support they get from the local IGA.
“He then put me on to Trevor from the Junior CFA, as they had only limited funding.
“After spending time with Trevor and the juniors, my team and I decided to help raise some funds for annual events and supplies that were needed.”
During the Emerald CFA presentation night, Brenton Sword was presented with the Peter Whitehead Junior Encouragement award, Stephen Fuller the Paul Yandle Runner-Up Junior Fire Fighter of the Year Award and Renee Tovey the Gus Ryberg Junior Firefighter of the Year.
Anyone aged between 11 and 16 and interested in joining the Emerald fire brigade should call Trevor on 0408 631 373.