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Retailers, staff and shoppers dig deep

Barry Blessington, Bruce Tjin, Amy McGee, Barry J Blessington, Woolworths store manager David White and Alanna Coombes man the sausage sizzle in aid of Victoria’s bushfire victims last Saturday. Photo: Mike Garry/scw1343
Barry Blessington, Bruce Tjin, Amy McGee, Barry J Blessington, Woolworths store manager David White and Alanna Coombes man the sausage sizzle in aid of Victoria’s bushfire victims last Saturday. Photo: Mike Garry/scw1343

Australia’s major retailers, their customers and staff have got right behind the Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund, donating millions of dollars to those who have lost family, friends, homes and priceless possessions.

Last Saturday, Woolworths staff and families held an all-day sausage sizzle at the Coolum Park shopping centre, raising $2400 from the sales of sausages, raffle tickets and outright donations from customers.

Store manager David White said the response from customers and other businesses in the centre had been sensational.

Mr White said the fundraiser was the brainchild of staff members Alanna Coombes and Amy McGee.

“Alanna and Amy organised it all,” he said.

“They approached all the stores here and asked for donations to raffle, and every store kindly put up some resources and put prizes out.”

More than $1000 worth of prizes was up for grabs on the day, including Flight Centre passes, meals, crockery sets, an electric toothbrush, bottles of wine as well as the sausages donated by Suncity Meats.

Mr White said shoppers had dug deep to support those who had lost so much.

“All the customers have been very supportive. There’s been a few $50 notes chucked in the buckets,” he said.

Alanna, who gave up her own time to man the stall with colleagues, family and friends, said she wanted to do something so the community could show its support.

“It’s pretty sad and devastating what’s happened,” she said.

“So we just wanted to help and do our bit.”

Woolworths donated $1 million to the Australian Red Cross for the bushfire appeal as well as providing supplies and equipment.

Coles donated the profits from last Friday’s trading across its 750 stores nationally. Customers rallied to support the cause, raising $4,870,889.

When added to more than $250,000 of food and grocery relief it has provided, Coles’ contribution to the bushfire victims now exceeds $5 million.


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