Have a ball and support the CFA
by JAIME NOYE
10th April 2023
FIREBALL is back!
Following the highly successful gala events in 2014, 2016 and 2018, and after two false starts in 2020 and 2021, Fireball will again come to life on Saturday, July 29.
The brainchild of Julie Quinton, Fireball was formed following the 2014 Flannery Court fires; Julie organised a small team of locals to recognise our CFA volunteers’ enormous commitment of time, effort, and personal risk.
Out of this intention, Fireball’s mantra was forged: to ease the burden of fundraising from volunteer firefighters.
CFA volunteers sacrifice a huge number of hours for our community.
They put their lives on the line. They often sacrifice their holidays, private/social lives, and family time in their CFA duty to the community.
They have been known to cook their own barbecue fundraisers, put on trivia nights, run raffles, letterbox drops and more, all in a bid to raise much-needed money to buy equipment to help protect our community.
They do this because they are committed to volunteering and keeping the community safe: they do not complain or seek recognition, and many of them are not comfortable with publicity.
To keep them safe in their endeavours and to enhance their community safeguarding, the Fireball Committee believes the whole community should take on some of the responsibility of fundraising for CFA services that serve us all.
This year’s event has been given an incredible kick start with the support of Bramleigh Estate Warrandyte; they have donated everything – the venue, the meals, their staff, and the drinks for the night.
This generous sponsorship significantly reduces the Fireball Committee’s need to call on the support of local businesses, many of whom have faced tough times over the past three years.
The committee knows other charity functions have been helped where possible, and Fireball intends to minimise the further impact on local traders as much as possible.
The owner of Bramleigh Estate, Mary-Anne McPherson, is passionate about “giving back” to the community, reaching out to the Fireball Committee to find out how she could contribute.
“The approach that Fireball has used in the past in ‘letting the Fireys get on and do what they do best while we, the community, do the fundraising for significant spends’ resonated with me,” Mary-Anne said.
She originally proposed this level of sponsorship for the 2020 event, and we are pleased to say she has stood by her commitment to support the cause still in 2023, even after her own business experienced significant impacts and closures over the last few years.
“It feels even more important now to be able to take some of the load off the local small businesses who are still recovering from the last few years by supporting Fireball in this way,” she said.
Historically, Fireball, with the support of our wonderful community, has raised between $60K and $80K in an evening; in 2023, Fireball aims to keep that momentum going to raise sufficient funds for essential firefighting equipment – for the same CFA brigades who also limited their fundraising activities over the last few years due to community impact.
Now it is time, and the Captains of the Greater Warrandyte CFAs consisting of North and South Warrandyte, Warrandyte, and Wonga Park, have determined that the broader community would benefit from the purchase of a much-needed light tanker to be housed at the Wonga Park station.
Money raised from Fireball 2023 will be delivered to the Greater Warrandyte CFAs to ensure they are able to purchase this more agile appliance suited to the local environment.
Tickets are on sale now for $220.
Buy your tickets on the Fireball website www.fireball.org.au.
Get in quick to be a part of the gala event of the year.