The severity of the devastating fires on Australian bush communities over summer sparked an idea for Warranwood PS parent group ‘Friends of Warranwood’.
After a quick meeting with school council and school principal, the Backyard Bash and BBQ for Bushfire relief came to life before the school holidays had even finished. The opportunity to bring the Warranwood community together at the start of the year for a great cause to generate some financial support for the Buchan Community Childcare Centre created enthusiasm and interest from all.
A couple of mixed age group cricket matches- (4 teams) were scheduled and a call out for participants was posted throughout the school community. The 48 places were filled within a blink and teams consisting of mums, dads, teachers and students aged from 5-12 bonded to do battle on the Warranwood PS oval in front of the gathered community as support.
The matches were great for a laugh with a number of dad’s egos being dented by 7 year olds hitting them to the boundary and maybe not being as dynamic as they once remembered! The 2 matches were 10 overs per batting side and focussed on participation and fun resulting in two very close last ball decision outcomes to entertain the picnic crowd that gathered around the oval.
Whilst the game was taking place the crowd were able to purchase food and drink prepared by the ‘FoW team and volunteers’ with all proceeds going to our event partner at Buchan Community Childcare Centre. The centre acts as a great community resource to provide some respite to the youngest in the fire affected regions and give them a time to play and forget some of the hardships brought on by the severity of the summer fires and deep impact on the social fibre of the towns affected.
Students at Warranwood joined in too and ran the Chocolate Coin Toss game with donated chocolates and lollies where people were able to chance their luck to win by throwing gold coins to land on the chocolate! A donated jumping castle provided some fun for the little ones also to ensure the night had something for all the family.
Principal Shane Harrop reflected, “The opportunity to come together as a community so early in the year is a win, win from such a negative and sad origin. The feeling of connectedness present tonight is what school communities are all about and that we can reach out to a community who are struggling and make a small difference is a wonderful message to our students about being an empowered citizen! This could be a great initiative each year to bring our community together to support another in need!
The Backyard bash and BBQ raised over $2200 and will enable the Buchan Community Childcare Centre to operate this year without any need for fundraising to replenish toys and supplies for some of the littlest survivors from the summer of fire!