All fired up

• Volunteer Allison Snell hammers her old Singer sewing machine to help make pouches for joeys affected by bushfires over east, part of an amazing outpouring of support across Chookland this week. See page 11 for the full story.

LOCAL support for communities devastated by bushfires over east has been extraordinary this week.

Already thousands of dollars have poured in to fire funds and new events are having to be organised to cope with demand.

More than 3000 tickets to a charity concert at the Fremantle Arts Centre featuring international rock stars John Butler and The Waifs sold out within an hour.

That’s prompted organisers to put on a second concert next Saturday, February 1, with Butler and The Waifs again agreeing to headline the concert.

On Wednesday, Fremantle council’s finance committee also approved a $10,000 donation to the Freo Fire Fund, which has been organised by the Fremantle Foundation and already has $12,000 in the kitty.

The committee also voted to waive venue hire and insurance fees for any other organisations planning to put on their own bushfire fundraiser.

The city’s youngsters have also been digging deep, with a ‘skate jam’ at the Esplanade youth plaza pulling in $3000, while an art sale organised by Level Up Studio raised $17,098 on Saturday.

Level Up co-owner Aidan Garnett said the wildlife rescue service WIRES and rural fire service in NSW would both get a little over $1000 as millions had already flowed into their coffers, while three independent wildlife sanctuaries – including one that was completely razed by the wildfires – will each get $5000.

Furry victims of the fires have been a top priority for many, with two sew-a-thons ensuring there’ll be plenty of joey pouches heading over east.

More than 60 people turned up to sew the pouches at The Hub 6163 in Hamilton Hill last Friday.

“The response has been overwhelming,” said Sofie De Meyer, who helped organise the event.

“People just want to help in any way they can.

“They have donated loads of material and some people have been busy sewing at home.”

The Hub has had a sewing afternoon organised by committee member Christine Duckham for the last year, so there were plenty of willing hands when the call went out.

The Fremantle Library and The Meeting Place also ran a craft and sewing day which put together more than 300 items handed over to WA Animal Rescue Volunteers and ARC Craft Guild.

by STEVE GRANT

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