GALLERY| $215,000 raised for fire victims

The South East community has rallied around those that lost property in the Blackford-Avenue Range Fire, with a fundraising auction on Saturday bringing in a whopping $189,000.

The auction was the culmination of several fundraising events, including a visit from the Adelaide Crows, that was organised by dedicated locals Greg Fisher, Amanda Carter and Georgie McKay with the total of funds raised reaching around $215,000.

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Greg Fisher said the fundraiser had grown rapidly, with South East businesses rushing to donate goods and services, to the point that the event had to be moved to it's own night at a bigger venue.

"I have a connection with Darcy and the Crows and I thought if we could just get a Crows jumper and a footy and auction that off and raise five or six thousand dollars, I would have been happy but people just started donating once they heard we were having an auction," he said.

"In no way did we expect this, it's incredible, just absolutely amazing."

As the trio worked to organise the prizes, which were valued at over $100,000, Mr Fisher said there was a worry that their wouldn't be enough people to bid.

But the worry was for nothing, with hundreds of people coming from far and wide.

"I was a bit surprised - we didn't know how many people were going to get there and then we were worried if we'd have enough buyers to cover everything," he said.

"There were a lot more people than I thought and the prices were a lot more than I thought as well.

"I was a bit scared, I sat in my ute for a while, I didn't want to go inside and then I walked in and there were people everywhere, I couldn't believe it.

"There would have been 200 people I have never seen before, I couldn't believe it."

The support was overwhelming and many of the items were snapped up by generous locals.

"Some local families really supported it, they went hard and paid good money for stuff," Mr Fisher said.

"It was a good year for farming last year, so people are willing to support things like this, which is good.

"People were generous and were willing to pay for the cause."

The money raised at all the events, which Mr Fisher said equalled around $215,000, will be distributed equally amongst those that lost property in the fire.

"It will be split between people who had stuff burnt - not just landowners, anyone who had things burnt," he said.

"It will be spread equally no matter how much they lost, or how big a property they have.

"There were people who worked on properties who lost gear, so they will get a dividend."

Mr Fisher thanked the business that donated money and prizes, as well as those that came along and supported the event.

"It was incredible, what people paid or were willing to pay was very good to see, and it's a very good cause it's going to," he said

"I just knew what they were going through and that's why I wanted to do what we did.

"Georgie and Amanda also did a hell of a job, having a couple of women on there was good for the finer details. They did a really good job.

"I love this town, when something goes wrong we all pull in one direction and we get stuff done, so that was good to see.

"A lot of Naracoorte businesses also put money on the bar the week of the fire so anyone who had been out at the fires could come in and have a meal and drinks.

"We want to thank them a lot, they did a hell of a lot the week of the actual fire which was greatly appreciated by everyone."

For more information on the generous supporters, visit the Lucindale Hotel on Facebook.

This story GALLERY| $215,000 raised for fire victims first appeared on Naracoorte Herald.