A Wauchope ex-pat and his Melbourne-born wife who live in America have raised a fantastic amount of money for rural firefighters and the koala hospital.
As the world watched the devastating bushfires in Australia, Anthony Debreceny and his wife, Rebecca held benefits at two of their restaurants in Savannah, Georgia. The historic coastal city is known for its manicured parks, horse-drawn carriages and pre-Civil War architecture. The couple moved there from Australia six years ago with their daughter, Gracie.
Anthony said that although Savannah is their home now, being so far away from his family in the Hastings made watching the bushfires unfold even harder.
The couple decided to hold fundraisers in their popular restaurants, The Collins Quarter, which attracts visitors from all over the world, and the Fitzroy, so they could help the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital, and the Rural Fire Service.
"When we first announced the fundraiser for the koala hospital, we realised how eager everyone was to show support because it sold out in a day with 200 reservations, so we organised another one, donating 100 per cent of the proceeds to the RFS," said Mr Debreceny.
"The two benefit dinners, and with raffle ticket sales and donations we have raised $27,791 US dollars (which is $41,700 Australian dollars) for the New South Wales and Victorian Fire Services and the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital.
"We couldn't have done it without our staff, who came on board immediately. and the Savannah community who are wonderful. It's been humbling to see how much support everyone has given us for something so far away," he said.