Image Upload

File size must be less than 2Mb

You must have online publishing permission or full ownership of this image

File types (jpg, png, gif)

  • Hero image
    Colin Macaffer.

Pomonal fundraiser revs up

A fundraiser for Pomonal fire victims has amassed more than $90,000 in the days following the blaze.

Organiser Colin Macaffer said through his business, Barney’s Bar and Bistro, he was being inundated with offers of help, inspiring him to start a GoFundMe page.

He organised for the money to be deposited into an account through the Ararat branch of the Bendigo Bank.

“Within half an hour it was up to nearly $10,000,” he said.

Article continues below

“It’s going to be channelled through the Pomonal Resilience Group, once the needy have been identified by that group.

“People have had insurance – some do and some don’t – because we’re local residents we know the residents and there’s no red tape.”

Mr Macaffer said the Pomonal community had been inundated with donations.

“Clothing and so forth has been overwhelming, but its the vouchers and financial side where people can purchase what they need,” he said.

“Little gestures of kindness, and big gestures, it doesn’t matter what the size is, it’s just been gratefully accepted, and gratefully appreciated.”

Mr Macaffer said the only damage at Barney’s Bar and Bistro was to fencing, describing it as amazing that it had been spared.  

“Susie and myself haven’t contacted our insurance because we’ve been concentrating on everyone else at the moment who have been severely affected,” he said.

“There is many in the town like us – many haven’t been affected at all – and we’re all just trying to help those in need.

“All the shires – Ararat Rural City Council and Northern Grampians – the Salvation Army, Red Cross, the CFA and Forest Fire Management have been tremendous. There’s no politics in these sort of things and Member for Lowan Emma Kealy has been outstanding.

“It can be humbling to see how much people care.”

Mr Macaffer said Pomonal’s church, the primary school and the general store had survived the fire.

“I think the local community, having had their own losses, are still happy the local businesses are around, so we have somewhere to go,” he said.

“Pomonal General Store has been the hub of all activities in relation to purchasing and receiving donations and food, petrol and diesel.

“There’s been some kindness from people who put money on the tab to help those in need – for those we know have been affected – and we hope that it’s all positive news that’s coming out of this terrible incident from here on in.” 

Mr Macaffer spoke about residents experiencing the highs and lows of emotions since the bushfire.

“There’s people who haven’t had their property affected and to a degree there’s a bit of guilt – ours survived, but I feel bad that our neighbours’ did not.

“As we go along, we’re all trying to find the positives – our house is fine and we can use ours as a base to be strong for others, and open up where necessary if possible.”

Mr Macaffer said Pomonal Resilience Group was working hard to secure permanent housing.

“It’s a volunteer group dealing with a state disaster – they’re doing a miraculous job,” he said.

“When the time is right, we’ll decide where the money raised goes. The more money in there, the more choices we can make and the more people can give some relief.”

People can visit to donate.

RELATED: Heartwarming response to Pomonal fire

RELATED: Ballarat firefighters survive Grampians burnover

RELATED: Ararat council ready to assist in Pomonal rebuild

RELATED: Fleeing from Dadswells fire

RELATED: Premier sees Grampians fire devastation

RELATED: Pomonal and Dadswells Bridge on the road to recovery after fires

The entire February 21, 2024 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!