Darleen's digs deep for fire appeal

Community spirit: Darleen's Taphouse staff hand over $1,000 to Busselton Volunteer Fire and Rescue lieutenant Mark Box, courtesy of its generous staff and customers. Photo: Jesinta Burton.
Community spirit: Darleen's Taphouse staff hand over $1,000 to Busselton Volunteer Fire and Rescue lieutenant Mark Box, courtesy of its generous staff and customers. Photo: Jesinta Burton.

Darleen's Taphouse has handed over $3,000 to emergency services personnel, courtesy of its generous staff and customers.

It was images of small regional towns in the eastern states grappling with the country's unprecedented bushfire season that prompted Darleen's venue manager Hannah Grummett to act.

The fundraiser began with gold coin donations some five weeks ago, but it wasn't long before staff and patrons at the popular Prince Street venue were raising thousands of dollars.

"It began with a gold coin donation to play FIFA on a Sunday, and it just took off from there," she said.

"It soon became every Friday night, every Saturday night.

"Any event we had, any day that we were open, we were just trying to fundraise.

"We've had some really generous customers, people going to the ATM to grab cash to donate.

"Seeing all of those little towns destroyed, little towns like ours, it just hit close to home.

"It could happen here.

"That's why it was important for us to include the local guys in the fundraiser."

Two-thirds of the funds raised will be donated to the New South Wales Rural Fire Service, with the remaining funds going to the Busselton Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service.

Ms Grummett extended thanks to those that had supported the business in its fundraising efforts, stressing that the work didn't stop here.

"As a business, this is what we're about - we're about community," she said.

""We just want to say a really big thank you to those that have donated.

"Let's keep at it. It doesn't end once we stop seeing images on social media.

"This will require years of recovery for these people."

Busselton Volunteer Fire and Rescue lieutenant Mark Box attended the business to accept the donation on Thursday, January 9, a donation he said was critical for the 40-member strong brigade.

"Our volunteers are really proud to have an organisation in our town that are so willing to give," he said.

"This portion of funds will really help us massively.

"We do fundraise throughout the year to assist with training requirements and internal purchases that we need to make.

"This money is critical for that."

Vasse MLA Libby Mettam said it had been wonderful to see small businesses in the region get behind communities that are struggling.

"Not only do our local volunteers run to and support other districts, but what we also see is the charitable nature of our people supporting others," she said.

"In particular, it's great to see small businesses, such as Darleen's, get behind it.

"I know Hamish and Hannah in particular have done an amazing job.

"From the feedback I've received, it hasn't been a difficult sell at all and that customers at this establishment have been more than willing to give generously to what is such an important cause."