Local business owners plan two benefits for Australian wildfire efforts

Local business owners plan two benefits for Australian wildfire efforts

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Over the past few weeks the entire world has watched the devastating wildfires destroy millions of acres in Australia. If you’re wondering how you can help locally, there are two events next week to do just that.

From thousands of miles away, the devastation of the Australian brush fires can be hard to truly comprehend. But for one Savannah family, the natural disaster hits close to home.

In this Monday, Dec. 30, 2019, aerial photo, wildfires rage under plumes of smoke in Bairnsdale, Australia. Thousands of tourists fled Australia's wildfire-ravaged eastern coast Thursday ahead of worsening conditions as the military started to evacuate people trapped on the shore further south. (Glen Morey via AP)
In this Monday, Dec. 30, 2019, aerial photo, wildfires rage under plumes of smoke in Bairnsdale, Australia. Thousands of tourists fled Australia's wildfire-ravaged eastern coast Thursday ahead of worsening conditions as the military started to evacuate people trapped on the shore further south. (Glen Morey via AP) (Source: Glen Morey)

“It’s been very difficult for us, both our families are in different areas, mine in Port Macquarie, which has the only koala hospital in Australia, it has a very big population of koalas that’s been decimated," said Anthony Debreceny, owner of The Collins Quarter, The Fitzroy, and The Deck on Tybee.

Anthrony Debreceny, his wife Rebecca, and their daughter, Gracie, moved to Savannah six years ago from Australia. Anthony tells me Savannah is their home now, but being so far away from home makes watching the fires unfold even harder.

The Collins Quarter is a favorite among locals and even attracts visitors from all over the world. Now, the Debrecenys want to help their home country with benefits planned at two of their restaurants.

“We have very deep roots here, we like to help out where we can, we’re in a fortunate enough position to be able to do that,” he said.

A position they're using to make an impact.

“Whenever I try to do something, I want to do it big, so we want to donate 100% of our takings from the day on Tuesday from The Collins Quarter,” he said.

When Debreceny first announced the fundraiser at The Collins Quarter he quickly saw how eager everyone is to show support.

“The Collins Quarter fundraiser sold out in a day, 200 reservations, so we decided next Thursday we’re going to do a fundraiser of the same format at the Fitzroy on Drayton St. where we will be donating 100 percent of those proceeds to Australian bush fighter foundations,” he said.

Two days, one hundred percent of the proceeds. A contribution Debreceny says he wouldn’t be able to do without his staff who jumped right on board, and the community he’s grown to love so very much.

“It’s been humbling to see support that everyone’s prepared to give to us for something so far away.”

For more information on the events next week, visit The Collins Quarter’s Facebook page here.

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