As support for bushfire-affected communities continues to flow from around the country, a newly-established local community group will be working hand-in-hand with the Westland Shopping Centre management to raise funds over the Australia Day long weekend.
The Whyalla Bushfire Appeal (WBA), formed by a volunteer group of community members and led by Cathy Daniels, will be holding a three-day bushfire fundraiser sponsored by the Westland Shopping Centre, with events including:
- A huge Pre-Loved Book Sale running next to Spendless Shoes Friday, January 24 from 10am-4pm and Saturday the 25th and Sunday the 26th of January 9am-2pm.
- A concentrated fundraising station in the Foodcourt 10am-1pm Saturday the 25th of January featuring live music, raffles, silent auction plus jumping castle, kids activities and more!
A major concert event is also planned for South Whyalla Football Club on July 11 as well as further fundraising initiatives big and small.
All the funds raised by the WBA will be split between Red Cross Disaster Relief and Kangaroo Island wildlife causes.
Westland Shopping Centre Manager Melissa Adamson said the book sale was a way for the community to support fundraising even if they don't have a lot of spare cash.
"I was approached by committee members from the WBA to see if we wanted to team up with them and become a bit of a fundraising hub for Whyalla," she said.
"They had some great ideas around using music as a good draw card to the shopping centre. We built around different ways of raising money and that's where the book sale idea came up.
"The community can support those affected by just donating any old books they don't need."
Ms Adamson said a number of shopping centre retailers had jumped on board for the concentrated fundraising station on the Saturday.
"Woolworths will be doing a extensive cake stall selling homemade cakes from their staff and other retailers will be donating to that," she said.
"We'll also have a sausage sizzle out the front of the food court that other retailers have banded together to put on."
WBA Committee Member Alison Hams said the group was made up of eight community leaders who had been touched by the 'terrible' bushfire crisis.
"We wanted to use whatever networks and resources we had as community members to play a small part in trying to support those affected by the disaster," she said.
"It's very much at the forefront of people's mind's now but we want to continue to do this in the long-term - through to July if not the end of the year because we know it's going to take a long time to recover from this.
Fellow Member Mark Tempany said the support from the Westland Shopping Centre for the WBA's cause was 'phenomenal'.
"It underlines how Australians generally feel and the need for us to band together and do something positive," he said.
For more information about the Whyalla Bushfire Appeal, head to their Facebook page.
Donations can already be made online via the WBA Red Cross page at fundraise.redcross.org.au/fundraisers/whyallabushfireappeal.