MISSION AND HISTORY
In the blistering heat of a 42⁰C summers day, CFA volunteers spent time away from their families to run a fundraising BBQ at the local Quinton’s IGA.
The next day, the same volunteers put their own lives in danger as Warrandyte faced the threat of destruction. On Sunday, February 9, 2014 a bushfire quickly escalated in Warrandyte destroying four homes and damaging others. Reliant on the bravery of volunteers, the CFA saved the lives of thousands of local families.
That weekend, Julie Quinton (owner of Quinton’s IGA) witnessed the sacrifice these CFA volunteers endured leaving their families not only to protect others, but also the additional hours required to fundraise. Realising that the responsibility of fundraising should fall on the community and not our dedicated volunteers, the idea of Fireball was born.
The inaugural Fireball was held in 2014 at the Italian escape Olivigna, in Warrandyte. This highly successful event was followed by a second in 2016, held at the Park Hyatt in Melbourne. A third event was held in 2016 in conjunction with the Manningham Mayoral Ball - The Mayoral Fireball. All fundraisers welcomed over 300 - 400 guests to enjoy a gala evening of gourmet food & wine, live music, dancing, auctions, prizes and celebrity guests.
The Fireball events have been enthusiastically supported by many local businesses and endorsed by a few larger regional businesses that provided sponsorship. Fundraising initiatives such as a Fireball cocktail and Champagne bars have been complimented with some ‘big ticket’ items such as a night with John Farnham.
The efforts of the Fireball committee proved both events to be successful endeavors with donations to the local CFA brigades totaling over $200,000!
Money raised from the 2014 Fireball closed the gap to purchase a new truck for the Warrandyte locality which replaced one of the oldest brigade owned trucks in the Victorian fleet.
The 2016 event fully funded a new Slip-on vehicle that was previously damaged in fighting the 2017 fires in Tasmania. Being a new vehicle, our local volunteers now benefit from all the latest safety features too!
The 2018 event funded a new Forward Control Vehicle for South Warrandyte CFA. This vehicle is a volunteer dedicated vehicle for the station.
The planned 2020 event was cancelled due to the extended Covid-19 lockdows, and we are thrilled to be able to look forward to reinvigorating Fireball for 2023 for our final Fireball event.
Why the final? Fireball has always sought to support our CFAs in the Greater Warrandyte area - Warrandyte, North Warrandyte, Warrandyte South and Wonga Park. As each location will have benefited by the community fundraising, 2023 will be the last.
We look forward to your support......and when it is time to resurrect Fireball again, we have Fireball in a Box, all our successes mapped out for the next generation to take over.