Fairfield NYE event Illuminate to be a fundraiser for local RFS heroes

Published Thursday, 26th December 2019

Illuminate logo

Fairfield City Mayor Frank Carbone has announced that this year’s Illuminate New Year’s Eve event will raise money for the families of the two RFS volunteers who tragically lost their lives last week.

The event will also raise funds towards the Salvation Army’s Disaster Appeal which is providing food, shelter and essentials to evacuees and first responders in fire-affected areas, and the RSPCA Bushfire Appeal which is assisting affected wildlife, pets and livestock.

The two volunteers were from the Horsley Park RFS brigade.The Horsley Park RFS falls within Fairfield City Council’s area and is supported by Fairfield City Council with buildings and an annual contribution to emergency services.

“We are a tight knit community in Fairfield and in these difficult times it’s important we all come together to assist those in need.” Mayor Carbone said. “As the Horsley Park RFS is based in Fairfield City, we have lost two of our own,” he said. 

“On Friday the City Manager and I visited Horsley Park Rural Fire Service to pass on our deepest condolences and support on behalf of our Fairfield community. 

“We expressed our deepest sadness over the news that two volunteer firefighters from the Horsley Park brigade tragically lost their lives, bravely fighting fires near Buxton, when their truck collided with a tree and rolled over.

Mr Keaton and Mr O’Dwyer left their home and family to fight to protect the homes and lives of people they had never met. Along with other volunteers they shouldered the burden of fighting the fires to help save people’s lives and save their homes. This terrible tragedy has united and brought out the best in our community spirit, which is now coming together to lend a helping hand to their families.”

While the Illuminate event is free, Fairfield City Council will donate the $3 booking fee from each ticket, to the RFS donations fund for Mr Keaton and Mr O’Dwyer’s families. 

With more than 5000 residents expected to attend, donation tins will also be provided at the event to allow the local community to also contribute directly to the families.

“To support the Illuminate fundraiser, I have also spoken to a number of the local clubs and they have immediately agreed to donate $10,000 each to the initiative. I thank the clubs for being so willing to lend their support and I will be talking to other clubs in the coming days to seek their support. If any clubs or corporations within Fairfield City would like to get involved, I’d be keen to hear from them.”

The clubs that have so far agreed are Mount Pritchard Community Club, Smithfield RSL, St Johns Park Bowling Club and Cabravale Diggers.

The Australian Chinese Association and the Mingyue Lay Buddhist Temple in Bonnyrigg have also agreed to donate $10,000 to this worthy cause. 

This means that through this fundraising initiative more than $60,000 has been committed to the families already.

“As a community we are grieving together and want to support these families who are going through unimaginable grief. We have a strong focus on families in Fairfield and we have a strong community spirit here so I know we will come together to do what we can to help. 

“The Fairfield community has always been so grateful and proud of the efforts of our local RFS in Horsley Park and are devastated by the news that Geoff and Andrew have died while protecting lives and property. I know that the community will get behind these efforts and be proud to support this cause,” Mayor Carbone said. 

Illuminate is Fairfield City Council’s free family friendly New Year’s Eve celebration. It will be held at Fairfield Showground, Smithfield Road Prairiewood from 5-10pm on Tuesday 31 December 2019.

Tickets to the event are free but there is a $3 booking fee that is payable to a third party. This year, Council will pay the third party fee and will instead donate the $3 collected from event-goers to the RFS donation fund.

With a super-hero theme, there will be free amusement rides and carnival games, music, dance performances, food and drinks, virtual reality experiences, camel and pony rides, face painting, airbrush tattoos, glitter bar and more surprises. There will be a live broadcast of Sydney fireworks at 9pm before a live fireworks display at 9.30pm.

Tickets are available for a small booking fee of $3 at www.fairfieldcity.nsw.gov.au/illuminate.