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Geelong community throws support behind Festival of Sails Bush fire appeal

by Jessica Gabites 30 Jan 06:30 GMT
(L-R) - MacGlide Festival of Sails Chairman, Stuart Dickson, Geelong Connected Communities' Tracy Carter, Harwood Andrews partner Justin Hartnett and AWA Alliance Bank's Steve Jackson - hand over a cheque to the Salvation Army for $41,555.80. © Sarah Pettiford

The Geelong community has rallied behind the Royal Geelong Yacht Club (RGYC) in partnership with Geelong Connected Communities (GCC), Harwood Andrews and AWA Alliance Bank, to raise over $40,000 for the Salvation Army National Bushfire Appeal.

RGYC contributed $10,000 to kick-start the Festival of Sails bushfire appeal last week, just days before the MacGlide Festival of Sails started on January 25.

The appeal coincided with the RGYC's decision to cancel its annual Australia Day Fireworks show on Sunday, January 26 out of respect for the tens of thousands of fire victims and Australia's volunteer firefighters.

Tens of thousands of people flocked to the Geelong Waterfront over the Australia Day long weekend, to celebrate the MacGlide Festival of Sails regatta.

The contributing organisation's representatives - MacGlide Festival of Sails Chairman, Stuart Dickson, GCC's Tracy Carter, Harwood Andrews partner Justin Hartnett and AWA Alliance Bank's Steve Jackson - handed over a cheque to the Salvation Army for $41,555.80.

Mr Dickson said it was "heartening to see how, in times of need, our community comes together to show their support for important causes like this."

GCC is a community company established for the benefit of every Geelong resident. With financial support from their partners, sponsors and supporters, GCC delivers an ongoing grant program that helps not-for-profit organisations fund programs that make Geelong a better place to be.

"We want to thank GCC, Harwood Andrews, AWA Alliance Bank and the Geelong community for their support in this fantastic fundraising initiative as part of the 2020 MacGlide Festival of Sails, in response to the bush fire tragedies."

All funds raised will go to the Salvation Army National Bushfire Appeal, with 100 per cent of all donations going directly to those families and communities impacted by the fires.

"We are very pleased with our ongoing partnership with Geelong Connected Communities," he said.

"The Waterfront Festival was a resounding success this year with tens of thousands of people enjoying live music, food and entertainment across the three days. We look forward to building on this success and making next year's Waterfront Festival an even better experience."

GCC Director John Fitzgerald said they were "delighted with the result of this fundraiser, especially given the short notice to pull it all together".

"We would really like to acknowledge the generosity of the GCC partner organisations - RGYC, Harwood Andrews and AWA Alliance Bank - for donating to this worthy cause.

"We are really pleased to be able to work together to support those going through such hardship," he said.

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