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All ‘A-Board’ for Bronte Bushfire Fundraiser

By Duncan Horscroft on February 25, 2020 in News

Bronte’s Tom Giutronich with Waverley Mayor Paula Masselos, by Bill Morris.

Here in the Eastern Beaches we are lucky to have escaped the catastrophic bushfires that have ringed the nation. One cannot imagine the heartbreak associated with the devastating loss of property, livestock and pets and our heart goes out to those who have tragically lost family members during these apocalyptic conditions.
The massive loss of wildlife has also added to the trauma, with many species now feared to be facing extinction.
Bronte Boardriders Club recently banded together to raise money for those affected by the fires, organising a very successful Boards for Bushfires fundraiser at the Clovelly Hotel.
What was originally planned to be a small gathering at Bronte Beach to auction off unwanted surfboards soon snowballed into a huge gathering at the Clovelly Hotel after inclement weather forced the cancellation of the beach venue.
Boards for Bushfires organiser Tom Giutronich said he was gobsmacked by the response and never anticipated the event would be so big.
“It was a spur of the moment thing,” Mr Giutronich told The Beast, “I was watching the reports of the bushfires at home and thought ‘how can we help?’”
“My brothers and I had about 27 boards sitting around at home and I came up with the idea of auctioning off the old boards to raise money for the bushfire victims.”
Mr Giutronich contacted the local boardriders clubs through Facebook and couldn’t believe the reaction from so many people with boards to donate.
“We had a small day in mind with a barbecue and about 20 to 30 boards, but after looking at the weather we made a call on the Friday night to relocate to the pub,” he said.
“The Clovelly Hotel are legends and welcomed the idea with open arms. They even gave us free use of their function room for the day.”
“Everyone had a new idea for the event and suddenly we had raffles, badges, t-shirts, a cake stall, a barbecue and an auction ready to go.”
The event raised an amazing $40,000, with the bulk of the money to go to Treading Lightly, an Ulladulla-based group focused on helping local communities in times of need.
“The group has done a lot of work during the bushfires and is focusing on wildlife and bush regeneration as well,” Mr Giutronich explained.
“They will provide vouchers for people to use at local businesses in and around Ulladulla to help boost the local economy, which has suffered terribly from the lack of tourism due to the bushfires.”
The late Daniel Hutton passed on his legacy through his six year-old son Monty, who came up with the idea of selling koala badges to raise money for the World Wildlife Fund.
Many thanks go to the event organisers and everyone who helped out on the day, as well as all the kind-hearted locals who came down and threw their support behind the initiative.
Boards for Bushfires is a prime example of community spirit at its very best. It just goes to show how a bunch of knockabout surfers can make such a difference to those in need.