Ocean Pet Supplies in Ucluelet has a wee fundraiser underway as well; partial proceeds from these stuffed koala and kangaroo pet toys will be donated to help Australia’s animals. (Nora O’Malley photo)

West Coast fundraising for Australian wildfires

“I’m super excited for everyone to come together and have the best fun we can have.”

On Saturday, Feb. 8, Tofino will host a fundraiser for Australia at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch #65.

Severe drought and climate change has created Australia’s most destructive fire seasons in decades.

“The level of devastation there is unbelievable,” said event co-organizer Jenn Brierley.

“They still really need help. I realize it’s not our country, they are really far away, but they still need our help. It’s important to me to help people any way we can. We are all part of this world,” she said.

Tickets to the Aid for Australia are $75 per person or $250 for a pack of four. There will be music queued up by Tuff City Radio’s Cameron Dennison and a silent auction filled with generous offerings from local resorts and businesses.

Lil Ronnie’s has signed on to cater the event at cost.

“He’s going to do a full pig roast and they’re going to try do some Aussie specific dishes,” said Brierley, adding that there will indeed be vegan and gluten-free options as well.

READ: Lil’ Ronnie opens new Texas-style barbeque joint in Tofino

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. with cocktails and music and dinner will be served at around 6:30 p.m. Starting at 9:30 p.m., folks can get into the event for $15 and join the dancing.

Proceeds from the Australia fundraiser are earmarked for the Australian Red Cross, the New South Wales Rural Fire Service and Australia’s Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service (WIRES) Wildlife Rescue.

Crystal Cove staffer Bridget Lucas moved to Tofino from Torquay, Australia in June 2019. She is helping organize the Feb. 8 event.

“I know this town is so good for it. Tofino is so community driven. It’s humbling,” said Lucas, who initially launched a fundraiser on Facebook that garnered $1,500 for Australia’s wildfires.

“I’m super excited for everyone to come together and have the best fun we can have,” said Lucas. “I know we are a different country, but all in all we are just one.”

Tickets to the Fundraiser for Australia can be purchased online at www.octopusevents.ca.


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READ: ‘We could see fire all over the landscape’: Vancouver Island man recounts helping crews in Australia

READ: DiCaprio’s Earth Alliance gives $3M to Australia fire relief

Australia firescharityfundraiserTofino,Wildfire season

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