News & Media

Sooty’s 200km fundraising walk for Charlie

By: Duncan Russell

Category: Events / Fundraising / Offers, People

  1.02 PM 14 August, 2015


Location: District 23 News

Views: 1649

If there's one thing CFA members excel in other than fighting fires, it’s helping each other in times of need. And at the moment, members in District 23 are rallying around one of their own.

By Amanda Bolch

Tony Ciavarella has been part of CFA since 1988 and is currently First Lieutenant at Oxley Fire Brigade, where his wife Merryn is also a firefighter.

But they are also fighting a personal battle as their son Charlie fights a rare immune condition – one of only 10 cases ever diagnosed worldwide. Read more in this article from the Border Mail newspaper.

CFA members from District 23 and beyond are throwing their support behind the family,

In addition to a special fundraising lunch at District 23 HQ, Operations Manager Stewart 'Sooty' Kreltszheim is hitting the road on a fundraising walk during his annual leave over four days, starting from Wangaratta on Sunday 23 August.

“Tony and Merryn are well and truly part of the CFA family and when your family is doing it hard, it’s a call to arms,” Stewart said.

He said the walk would not just help provide some extra financial support for the family, but also show them they had the full support of CFA.

Stewart will cover 200km over the four days, stopping overnight at Benalla, Mansfield and Whitfield, before finishing at Oxley on Wednesday 26 August.

Although Stewart’s focus is on District 23 brigades, he would welcome any other brigades or members getting involved. Some options include:

  • holding a fundraiser between now and 26 August
  • brigade sponsorship of the walk based on ‘per km’
  • attending the daily events at the conclusion of each leg, at Benalla (Aug 23), Mansfield (Aug 24)(Aug 25) and Oxley Hall (Aug 26)
  • donating direct to the family via the Help Charlie fundraising page.

“We will also be providing order forms for Ciavarella wines (the family’s business) en route and I can assure you it is a great drop. Moving the vineyard’s stock will greatly assist the family during this hectic time,” he added.

And as for anyone questioning Stewart’s ambition to walk 200km, he’s no stranger to trekking having walked the Kokoda Track eight times since returning from his latest trek last month.

Stewart also welcomes anyone joining him on the walk for Charlie – whether it be for 100m or 100km.

“It may be a great opportunity for you to ‘chew my ear’ over any issues that you may wish to discuss,” he added.

Anyone interested in joining Stewart during the walk needs to confirm with Mick Daws (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) as there are restricted numbers allowed when walking on the public roads (100km speed zones). There is no limit to numbers if using footpaths and bike/walking tracks within built-up areas, and we would encourage anyone interested to join at this time.

Find out where to purchase Ciarvarella wines in Melbourne and regional Victoria.

Last Updated: 14 August 2015