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Wicker Park, Bucktown, West Town

Australian Bushfire Fundraiser Has New West Town Location, Still Selling Tickets

Proceeds will benefit BlazeAid, a volunteer organization that rebuilds fences and other structures in rural Australia after natural disasters.

From left to right, Australian-Americans Cherie Jackson, Naomi Levine and Kelly Page are co-organizing a West Town-based fundraiser for Australian bushfire relief.
Naomi Levine / Provided
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WEST TOWN — A fundraiser for Australian bushfire relief is still on for Thursday, despite Chicago’s anticipated frigid temperatures.

The fundraiser, set for 6-11 p.m., moved locations from TipsySpace to Bennet Day School, 955 W. Grand Ave.

An afterparty will take begin around 10 p.m. at TipsySpace, 1223 W. Grand Ave.

Thus far, organizers have sold nearly 200 tickets. You can purchase tickets here, or simply show up; about 50 tickets will be sold at the door.

The $50 ticket covers food, an open bar, live entertainment and participation in a silent auction. 

A majority of proceeds will benefit BlazeAid, a volunteer organization that rebuilds fences and other structures in rural Australia after natural disasters. 

Examples of silent auction items include a roundtrip Australian vacation, a framed INXS poster signed by the late Michael Hutchence and a Chicago Blackhawks jersey signed by Patrick Kane.

Those who cannot attend the fundraiser but want to help can make donations here.

Since last fall, a rash of unprecedented bushfires have ravaged Australia’s rural farmland and countryside.

In response, a group of Australian-Americans living in Chicago organized Thursday’s fundraiser.

RELATED: Want To Help Australia? Chicago’s Aussie Americans Are Throwing A Fundraiser To Combat ‘Horrendous’ Bushfires

The owner of TipsySpace, Naomi Levine, is from New South Wales. She said her father, who is on oxygen, has been trapped inside his home.

“I am so stressed about these fires,” she said. “My dying father cannot go outside to breathe. … Every Aussie will suffer from the smoke smog.”

Andy Cutting, a former Australian volunteer firefighter and current firefighter with the Skokie Fire Department, said he hoped people continue to donate — even after the Feb. 13 fundraiser. 

“People need money, that’s what it comes down to,” he said. “They gotta rebuild their lives. I don’t want this to be a flavor of the month thing. … The help needs to keep going for a long time. It needs to continue for months and months and years.”

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