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Oh what a night!

FIREBALL 2016 is being applauded as an outstanding sold-out success, raising more than $70,000 in much needed funds for our local CFAs in a truly glamorous Saturday night affair.

The final figure matched 2014’s result when $70,000 was raised to contribute to a new truck for the North Warrandyte CFA. This year, the funds raised will go towards buying a Slip-On: a 4WD first-respondent vehicle on the wish-list of the Greater Warrandyte brigades for many years.

Fireball has grown since it’s inaugural event in 2014, generating hundreds of thousands of dollars and support for our local fire brigades: North Warrandyte, Warrandyte, South Warrandyte and Wonga Park.

The absolutely stunning Park Hyatt Ballroom was the place to be on Saturday October 15 with hundreds of guests from the Greater Warrandyte area dancing the night away in style—and showing their support for the fireys that dedicate so much of their time to keeping our community safe.

It was ball gowns galore and old Hollywood glamour with guests dressed to the nines in their best black tie.

Pre-dinner drinks were served in the luxurious foyer before the huge ballroom doors opened and guests flooded the dance floor and dining tables.

Melbourne’s hottest corporate cover band, Popcorn, sent the dance floor into a frenzy with covers from Taylor Swift and the Bee Gees, while guests also participated in a live online auction to raise more funds.

The live auction saw a stunning natural ruby necklace donated by Warrandyte’s own Ruby Tuesday actively stir the bidding, as did an original artwork by Laural Retz along with villas up for grabs in Thailand and Bali.

Another popular item was the wine fridge filled with wine which one local hairdresser was lucky enough to win.

Major sponsor and Fireball champion Julie Quinton was thrilled with the auction results and seeing the event come to fruition.

“Our committee has worked tirelessly for many months to not only build an event with significant fundraising capacity but also an event to remember,” she said.

“From early feedback we think we hit the mark. The Park Hyatt ballroom was alive and full to capacity with Greater Warrandyte taking it to town in support of our fireys and enjoying a quality night out to boot.

“Thanks to Warrandyte Community Bank, many attendees were chauffeured in and out of the city in comfortable buses from various parts of the area. The Park Hyatt ballroom delivered a stunning impression as our community entered on the night. It was alive and full to capacity.”

The Fireball committee will continue to raise funds for the CFA and expect the 2018 event to be an even bigger success.

“The objective of the night was for our community to take on the responsibility and obligation of fundraising from our local CFA volunteers. Fireball is the vehicle for our community to ease the burden of fundraising for our local CFAs,” Julie said.

“We choose to live and work in this beautiful, fragile and very volatile environment; so it makes sense for us to ensure those people who volunteer to defend and protect it are armed with the tools to best do that job.”

PHOTOS: Deb Sullivan

Kayakers rescued in Warrandyte floodwater

1_yarra-kayak-rescue-attempt_09885ayarra-kayak-rescue-attempt_09878Two kayakers trapped in floodwater in the Yarra River in Warrandyte have been rescued.

With fast flowing water in a dangerous section of the Yarra, the couple found themselves in trouble about 11am and were found clinging to a tree branch in the middle of the river. A cast of thousands were on hand to witness the event, including several news agencies and TV networks.

The rescue operation was led by Victoria Police, with assistance from the Country Fire Authority, Melbourne Fire Brigade and Victoria SES.

More info to come in the October edition of the Warrandyte Diary on Monday.

(pictures: Stephen Reynolds, copyright Warrandyte Diary)

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Babes in the woods

The Warrandyte Riverside Market is one for all ages and although the sun popped through a few times during our first Spring market, these gorgeous “babes in the woods” were lucky their parents Tessa and Jacqueline ensured they were all rugged up to combat the morning chill. Pictured between a rock and a soft place were twins Abel and Olivia, 2, and friend Annika, 2.

PHOTO: Scott Podmore

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Warrandyte junior footy teams chase flags

LOCALS are urged to put a few hours aside this Sunday to lend their support to two Warrandyte Junior Football Club teams who have made it through to the grand final in the Yarra Junior Football League.

The two teams are the Under 14s (above, celebrating a recent victory) and the Under 15s (below), who both will play at Victoria Park Lower at 12.30pm and 2.45pm respectively, which means the Red & White army of supporters can set up camp at the one venue and watch the two Grand Finals in a row.

Both teams have not only made the big dance, but are red-hot favourites and had the luxury of a weekend off after smashing victories last Sunday week.

The U15s finished their year second on the ladder with an impressive nine wins from 14 matches. They came into their semi final full of confidence after winning their last three matches of the season.

In the first week of the finals the Bloods travelled to Bundoora, who finished on top of the ladder, only losing four matches all year. Our boys dished out an impressive performance and gave the home team a lesson as they smashed Bundoora 14.14.98 d 5.4.34. The win meant the U15s could progress straight to the Grand Final and have a week off.

bloods 15s

Eugene Hanson, coach of the U15s, spoke passionately about how the boys were ready to go and had the potential (playing at their best) to win the Grand Final but had to learn to control their emotions.

“I told them don’t think about the game itself, it’s very important to make the build-up as normal as possible,” he said.

“We have been training to manage and help the players understand the emotions coming into the game. The boys lost a grand final in the U10s competition five years ago and some of them have a fear of losing, so we want to make sure their emotions don’t get the better of them.”

The U15 boys will go into the Grand Final clear favourites as they do battle with Macleod at Victoria Park Lower in Kew at 2.45pm this Sunday (August 28). The good news is our Bloods have beaten Macleod twice throughout the season by comfortable margins. A flag is looking good.

On the same day the U15s rocketed into the grand final, shortly after the U14s followed suit, giving Doncaster no chance of even a sniff of victory as they ran over them 13.5.83 to 5.12.42.

The U14 team’s road to the finals was solid as they finished the regular season on top of the ladder, winning 11 of their possible 15 games, including only one loss in the last 11 (to Preston who was bundled out last week). What made the U14s semi final win even more impressive was that Doncaster finished second, also on 11 wins, with only percentage separating the two teams.

Warrandyte will battle it out with Banyule in the Grand Final after the Bears beat Doncaster in the preliminary final by one goal on Sunday.

U14s coach Andrew Wallace says he is very confident and reckons if the boys “stay strong and work as a team” and “keep their heads up until the final siren” they can pull off a win.

Warrandyte’s U14s will play Banyule at Victoria Park Lower, Kew, at 12.30pm this Sunday (the match before the U15s).

Both coaches and the rest of the WJFC urge Warrandytians to head down to the grand finals this Sunday and support our young Bloods as they hunt for flag glory.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Cookin’ up a storm

Quinton’s IGA hires a top gun chef to take the supermarket to new heights.

The supermarket industry has changed significantly over the past 20 years and sadly many family owned grocers have been snuffed out by the big chains and multinationals who dominate the Australian market.

So it is becoming quite rare for a supermarket such as Warrandyte’s very own family owned and run, Quinton’s IGA, to not only survive but thrive, powering on with innovation and, at times, with community faith-based risk and often leading the way in what is a very ruthless, cutthroat industry.

The ongoing success of Warrandyte’s family grocer is due to the quality and standards set by Quinton’s.

The philosophy is, “If it’s not good enough for our family’s dinner table, then it’s not good enough for our customer’s table.”

The drive to continually evolve and to keep up with trends is also a major factor in Quinton’s success. However, Quinton’s IGA is about to take our much loved family grocery store to a whole new level over the coming few months.

With the introduction of new head chef, Dave Cafarella, who is partnering with the Quinton’s team, bringing ‘big city’ convenience to Warrandyte, while still keeping our community uniqueness and country town friendliness.

Julie Quinton’s excitement over the development is infectious, as she reels off Chef Dave’s credentials.

“Dave has been head chef at Domaine Chandon, head chef at The Public Brewery, sous chef at Olivigna and head chef at the Lilydale General,” she told the Diary. “Along with his beautiful wife Bec and his two gorgeous little girls Mika 7 and Jaidah 4, Dave is now going to get some great family/work/life balance back into his life without his ‘cheffy’ nights working in restaurants. Dave is as excited as we are so it’s a win all around we think!”

It’s time for loyal locals to get excited. Quinton’s IGA has plans underway for a bigger new deli and a full chef’s kitchen, where Dave will have full reign over his new domain.

“We are going to make meal planning so incredibly simple for our customers,” Julie explains. “We will also be opening up on lots more fresh Australian seafood and ‘ready to cook – chef prepared’ meal ideas with the focus on health, Australian grown, ethical, vegan and un- processed foods.

“We are so excited and confident in our new direction – we know we’re going to hit the mark and we know our customers are going to love the changes.”

While big changes are afoot, it’s the little things that matter, too. The supermarket’s new deli will also carry a larger range and deliver slice on demand for all hams, salamis and prosciutto.

“The gourmet cheese range will also improve with the assistance of our Cheesemonger in training, my daughter Hayley,” Julie says with a smile.

“Another sensational addition to our Quinton’s staff has been our new liquor manager, Mark Hansford. Mark comes to us with great wine knowledge and will be only too pleased to help our customers select and advise on our wines. Be sure to look for Mark’s recommendations and special deals in the liquor department.”

Julie’s nous for not only survival but also progress is leading edge. She’s an award-winner, an inspirational leader in the IGA chain and many will agree the lifeblood for our community heartbeat on so many levels.

Community cook-ups, sports club support and Fireball sponsorship just a few to name off the cuff. There’s plenty more we could reference.

She’s a leader, one who threads a community tapestry with her ability to make things happen and inspire others.

“We realise, for our continued survival and longevity in Warrandyte, we need to continually realign ourselves to be relevant in our customers’ busy lives as well as providing exceptional customer service and that’s what we are prepared to do,” Julie says.

Stay tuned for a revamped Quinton’s IGA with something big cooking in the kitchen.