25 March 2021

Fire Up Cobargo promises a free day of entertainment and fundraising to help bushfire-affected locals

| Albert McKnight
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Fire Up Cobargo poster

The poster for Fire Up Cobargo was designed by Reg Mombassa. Image: Supplied.

After a year spent on the path of recovery from disastrous bushfires, the Bega Valley community and beyond has been invited to come together for a free event filled with entertainment.

Fire Up Cobargo will be held on Saturday, 27 March, at Cobargo Showground, and aims to fundraise for a worthy cause: building sheds for bushfire affected locals.

Event coordinator Kathryn Doolin says profits from the sale of merchandise on the day will go to building the 6×9 metre sheds, which would cost about $16,000 each, saying they could be “a space where people rebuild their lives”.

Importantly, says Kathryn, roofs on the sheds will allow people living on fire-damaged properties to collect water.

“A lot of people have received IBCs [plastic tanks] but they can’t catch water,” she says. “People still have to go into town to collect water.

READ ALSO Slow progress on the road to recovery for fire-affected Bega Valley residents

“It’s the most practical solution we thought could help people out.”

Kathryn says almost 16 months after the Black Summer bushfires first devastated the Cobargo region, people in the community are ‘disconnected’ in general.

“I think the trauma is real,” she says. “Everybody is going through their own journey of healing. I think as a community it is slightly disconnected and fractured.”

Kathryn says everybody is invited to Fire Up Cobargo, and it is about reconnecting community.

“This is about bringing everybody together, pushing out a couple of bad memories and pushing in a couple of good ones,” she says.

“It’s about rebuilding the mental health of a fire-affected community, but it’s also about just having some fun.”

READ ALSO Forestry Corporation ignores EPA and resumes logging in heavily burnt forests

Fire Up Cobargo will run from 9 am to 7 pm this Saturday. Entry is free and there will be markets, workshops and entertainment, including a jumping castle, a thong throwing competition, milk ladle racing and a cooee competition.

Musicians performing on the day include Lillian McVeity, Alice Wiebe, Matt Preo, Lara Scrivens, Stonewave Taiko, Scaramouche, Warren Foster, One Gener8tion, Felicity Dowd, George Washing Machine with Clare O’Meara and the Royal Military College Band.

Merchandise for sale will include cups, shirts, stubby holders and bottle openers.

Donations will be accepted towards Fire Up Cobargo or the sheds fundraiser.

And don’t forget to bring a chair or rug to sit on.

For more information, visit the Fire Up Cobargo Facebook page.

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