Community members get together to thank RFS volunteers. Steph Holden.
Community members get together to thank RFS volunteers. Steph Holden.

Township gives back to volunteers

AT THE height of the bushfire crisis, evacuees in Ashby Heights didn’t know what they would be going home to.

Bob Rigg said there was a plenty of uncertainty among evacuees in Ashby as the Myall Creek Fire bore down on the township in November but that was quickly followed by relief as they returned to their houses.

“We got hammered up here but nobody lost a home thanks to the boys in yellow,” he said.

As the threat subsided and Mr Rigg said he began to see other groups putting on fundraisers for their local brigades to say thanks and wanted to ensure those who helped save Ashby got the recognition they deserved.

From there, organisers of the Ashby markets created a raffle, raising enough money to put on a community barbecue for volunteers as a way to say thanks as well as making an $800 donation to the local brigade.

The event on Sunday attracted a large number of locals and 25 volunteers from local brigades

“It was fantastic,” he said.

“We thanked the boys for keeping the roofs over our heads.

“Everyone was happy and we fed them all and gave them a drink.”

One lucky volunteer went home with more than just a full stomach, bagging a free trip on Reel Time Charters after a raffle prize was donated back by the previous winner who didn’t fancy a boat trip on the open ocean.

Mr Rigg said instead of picking another winner he held it back for the volunteers BBQ to give the members a shot at something extra special.

“They all jumped at it,” he said.

“One of the young blokes from Gulmarrad won it.”



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