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Catch of the Day – FUN raiser
The local fire brigade at Bemm River, the bream capital, is famous for its Annual Easter Fish and Chip fundraising event.
The small isolated coastal town, around 450 kilometres east of Melbourne, has a population of about 70 people which increases to over 500 during the warm holiday period.
Bemm River Fire Brigade has been hosting the popular Fish and Chip Fundraising Dinner every Easter for the past 24 years.
With all 25 brigade members on deck, the station is turned into a pop-up restaurant and kitchen with tables and seating for over 200 guests.
The evening starts at about 5.30pm and over 200 meals are served including delicious fish and sweets thanks to Lakes Fishing Coop and Patties Foods Bairnsdale.
The major FUN raiser during the evening is the large spinning wheel that spins about 15 to 20 times, selling about 100 tickets each time.
There are some fabulous prizes to be won that are generously donated or purchased with assistance from some major corporate companies.
“The event is very popular among the community and visitors to the town and people keep coming back year after year.” says Captain Russell Pardew
The first event attracted about 70 people and over the last 24 years it has grown to over 200.
“This is the Brigades major and only fundraiser for the year. Twenty-four years ago the money raised went towards the supply of boots for new members when they joined the brigade. Since then, when the VESEP funding became available we have been able to purchase new slip-ons and totally fund other essential items such as a 27KVA generator, a defibrillator, chainsaws, quick fill pumps and more recently shelving and a verandah for the new station.”
Next year will be Bemm River Fire Brigade's 25th anniversary fish and chip dinner and Russell is hoping it will be bigger and better.
“We try to look after our community,” says Russell, “that’s what it’s all about”.
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