The Rotary Club of Taree on Manning Mid Coast bushfire appeal has wrapped up with a final donation from last December's Taree Carols in the Park.
Carols organiser Amanda Tate handed over a $20,000 cheque to Rotarians Maurie Stack and Julie-Anne Booth.
Amanda said the Rotary appeal was chosen as it ensured the funds would be spent appropriately.
"It's an honour to be handing this cheque over to Rotary and being able to assist those in need from those devastating fires," Amanda said.
"We chose Rotary because of the great work they were doing directly with the communities worst hit."
The Christmas event was arguably the largest of its kind in Taree history.
A big draw was the appearance of rugby league identities, namely Manning born Australian captain Boyd Cordner, Taree's Latrell Mitchell, Forster's Kylie Hilder and NSW Blues coach Brad Fittler.
LJ Hooker worked alongside NSW Rugby League to organise the event as a way for the community to unwind following the bushfires.
"Joining forces with NSW Rugby League enabled us to not only put on a great event for the community still in shock from the fires but the sponsorship that came along with it, enabled us to raise such a large sum of money that will be directly distributed to those people still affected," Amanda said.
Maurie said the club was grateful for the carols donation.
Funds raised through the Rotary appeal now exceed $464,000 since it was launched in November 2019. Not a bad effort, considering the club set the target at $30,000.
More than $430,000 was distributed to about 110 families who lost their homes. With the carols donation, the club still has $34,000 in the bank.
"We are overwhelmed by the generosity not only of our local community but of people throughout Australia and indeed overseas who have supported this appeal," Maurie said.
"We have had many touching tributes from those whose lives were devastated in the fires.
"It is not just the money- the fact that fellow Australians cared and wanted to help has lifted the spirits of those in our community so badly affected."
With eyes on the future, the Rotary club proposed the Bobin and Caparra Bushfire Protection Project.
The project will see 100,000 litre water tanks, with gravity feed lines to water filling stations, installed in both towns.
Maurie said the tanks will be filled, maintained and locked when water security was not an issue.
Other plans include the installation of a rooftop sprinkler system at the Bobin Community Hall and a solar powered fire danger level sign, automated by the Bureau of Meteorology.
The project will cost $68,000 with funds already raised outside of the bushfire appeal. It is still subject to approval of The Rotary Foundation.
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