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Sunday fundraiser supports those affected by Australian bushfires

Organizers of a fundraiser for those impacted by Australia’s bushfires are overwhelmed by the support they’re getting.

Tickets are being snapped up quickly for the Australia BushFire Fundraiser: Variety Show and Dinner happening Sunday at the Masonic Hall in Cumberland.

The fundraiser goes from 5:00pm to 10:00pm and includes improv comedy and live music.

One-hundred percent of the proceeds go to an Aboriginal-led network called the Firesticks Alliance.

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Danielle Robinson and Tereza Tomek are organizing the event.

Robinson said the Alliance aims to reinvigorate the use of cultural burning, and also uses donations to help Aboriginal communities impacted by the bushfires: “The ultimate goal of Firesticks is to support cultural learning pathways that enable and empower Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities to work collectively towards a resilient landscape in Australia.”

Leading up to the fundraiser, Robinson said the response has been “amazing.”

“The Comox Valley community is really responsive and really wanting to do something,” she said. “I think that everyone’s been watching what’s happening on the news, and they don’t know what to do besides send donations overseas, but I think a lot of us feel really helpless, and that’s how I was feeling. We just wanted to do something, that will help the community really give, as well.”

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Local businesses have stepped up to support the event.

The Butcher’s Block has donated meat for the meat and vegetable pies being served for dinner, Cumberland Village Bakery donated all the pastry (made from scratch), Seeds Natural Food Market has donated the vegetables for the pies; Union Street Grill and Grotto is supplying a pot of homemade soup; and 4 Quarters Restaurant is donating a massive Greek salad.

“So the food’s going to be really good,” Robinson said.

Chefs Amy Cadden and Wesley Langelier are volunteering two days of their time to cook the pies.

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Other donations came from the Masonic Hall, and the Cumberland Brewing Company, and Harmonic Arts and CV Collective are putting in gift baskets for a silent auction.

“And lots of community members have put in, as well, and it’s fully volunteer based,” she said.

For those who don’t have dinner tickets, the charge is $15 charge at the door.

Meanwhile, there is a limited number of dinner tickets available. To buy a $25 dinner ticket ticket and reserve your spot at a table, email [email protected]

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The event is also on Facebook. Click here to link to the page.

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