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$22K raised at Big White Ski Resort for Australian wildfire relief

More than $22,000 was raised from a variety of recent fundraisers at Big White Ski Resort near Kelowna for Australia’s bushfire crisis.
More than $22,000 was raised from a variety of recent fundraisers at Big White Ski Resort near Kelowna for Australia’s bushfire crisis. Big White Ski Resort

Call it a group effort, Down Under-style, with Australians at Big White Ski Resort rallying to raise funds for Australia’s wildfire crisis.

Big White says Australians account for 37 per cent of all employees at the resort, with the wildfires hitting close to home for many working at the popular resort near Kelowna.

Recent fundraising efforts amounted to more than $22,000 for wildfire relief efforts.

Fundraisers gather around a cheque worth $8,000 at Big White Ski Resort. The money was donated to Australia’s Country Fire Authority to help combat wildfires.
Fundraisers gather around a cheque worth $8,000 at Big White Ski Resort. The money was donated to Australia’s Country Fire Authority to help combat wildfires. Big White Ski Resort

READ MORE: With no plan in place, a retired Edmonton firefighter flew out to Australia to help fight wildfires

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“Over 75 per cent of our staff are from Australia, with many coming from areas affected by the fires,” said John Mooney, owner of The Bullwheel Gastro Family Pub.

“They were instrumental in setting up this fundraiser and were the sales people behind our total.”

Okanagan team helps wild life in Australia
Okanagan team helps wild life in Australia

According to Big White, recent efforts included:

  • $1,907 from a $5 sausage sizzle on Jan. 26, which is also Australia Day, at various locations around the resort.
  • $745 raised by the Bullwheel Gastro Family Pub on Australia Day.
  • $4,650 raised by Big White retail stores on Jan. 25, with 310 toques sold, with $15 from each toque being donated.
  • More than $8,000 was raised on Jan. 9 at Thursday night trivia.
  • Nearly $1,400 was raised by lift operators through a bake sale, with donations going to three different bushfire-related charities.

Almost $6,000 was raised by staff at Globe Tapas and the Blarney Stone Irish Tavern, with proceeds going to four charities. Nearly half of that amount was donated by Kelowna businessman Justin Bullock of OK Tire in Rutland.

“The charities receiving these funds we’ve raised are so grateful for this outpouring of support from overseas,” said Ben Cahill, an assistant manager the Globe who helped spearhead the fundraiser, “especially when it’s led by us, these young travellers who can’t believe what’s been happening back home.”

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New Brunswick man shaves 13-inch beard after successful fundraiser for Australian wildfire relief
New Brunswick man shaves 13-inch beard after successful fundraiser for Australian wildfire relief