This year’s ChillOut will continue the festival’s long-running commitment to raising funds for causes in the wider community, with a portion of the proceeds from many ChillOut 2010 events going to the Country Fire Authority’s (CFA) Fire Smart Appeal.
The Fire Smart Appeal is a partnership of ChillOut, CFA – Glenlyon Group and Hepburn Council to raise much-needed money to buy additional firefighting equipment for local brigades.
ChillOut president Adam Wright told Southern Star that the choice of the CFA as fundraising beneficiary was particularly pertinent considering 2009’s catastrophic bushfire season.
“Over the years, we’ve always picked a worthy cause to make the focus of our fundraising, and the CFA is so relevant. People may remember that at one stage we weren’t even sure if last year’s ChillOut could go ahead because of the bushfires in the area. It touched the community locally and personally — a couple of people on the committee lost property because of the fires [in Daylesford].”
Wright said there was a reason behind ChillOut’s long-held tradition of choosing charities outside of the immediate gay and lesbian pool.
“Over the years, we’ve raised over $125,000 for everything from anti-bullying programs in primary schools to wildlife shelters to now helping the CFA. It’s a very inclusive process, and I think it really solidifies the fact that the GLBTI community is part of the wider community, not separate from it.
“It’s important to show that yes, the GLBTI community knows how to have a good time, but we also do things to help the community at large.”
In keeping with the CFA partnership, Victorian Bushfire Reconstruction and Recovery Authority chair Christine Nixon will attend the Slowest Lunch, the festival’s major fundraising event, on Friday, March 5 at Sault Restaurant.
Those who make a donation to the Fire Smart Appeal between now and February 6 will go into a draw to win a three-course Valentine’s Day dinner for two at DECO Restaurant at Peppers Springs Retreat and Spa in Hepburn Springs, valued at $150. Those who take part will receive one entry to the draw for each $5 donated, and can donate by calling 1300 669 532.

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