Contributed by: Graeme Carey Saturday, February 21 2009 @ 05:30 pm ACDT
Many clubs in Asia have close affiliations with football clubs in Victoria and many have been moved by the tragic events of the past few weeks. The Bali Geckos Australian Rules Football Club have responded to the recent horrific bushfires that wreaked havoc on the state of Victoria by donating to an Australian Rules football league in the heart of the affected areas. The Geckos will donate US$500 to the Yarra Valley Mountain District Football League, which includes the townships of Kinglake and Marysville, both of which were basically wiped out by the fires.
Australians in general have answered the call to assist those affected by the nation’s worst ever natural disaster, with well over AUD$100 million dollars raised since the tragedy that took over 200 lives and the homes of thousands during early February. Geckos’ Club President Mark Parthezius said the donation will go towards helping the affected communities re-build their lives. “The football league we are donating to is involved in a number of projects helping people get back to their normal lives, including sports participation. These communities will need an outlet and a sporting club can breathe some life back into a tough environment”. The league receiving the donation has established a committee which will work in consultation with member football clubs to direct funds to projects as required, Mark added.
The Geckos, who have an enviable history of community support, previously having established a strong connection with local Balinese foundation Yayasan Sri Kandhi working to assist widows following the 2002 Bali Bombings, have contacted other Australian Rules clubs across Asia and encouraged them to help out their fellow footballers in Victoria. Clubs in Singapore and Vietnam have already responded with donations. For members of the public who wish to help out, donations can be made to:
A/c Name: YVMDFL Bush Fire Fund
BSB: 633 000
A/c No. 132265287
The public can also contact Yarra Valley Mountain District Football League CEO Stephen Walter at email@example.com to arrange a different form of payment.