Belly laughs raise funds for Sydney flood relief

Since the beginning of the year, the Greater Sydney area has experienced multiple severe flooding events, in one case receiving eight months of rain over four days. These events have caused devastation and distress throughout the region, with tens of thousands displaced.

Witnessing how devastating the latest floods in the Camden and Hawkesbury areas were ignited a strong urge within the Rotary Club of Blacktown City, NSW, to do something to help flood victims. As a result, Flood Relief for Greater Sydney with Comedy was born, jointly supported by Rotary Districts 9675 and 9685.

On Friday, August 19, 137 comedy-goers attended the event, including councillors representing the local government areas, and presidents and members of many Sydney Rotary clubs.

Opening the evening to a backdrop of flood imagery, Councillor Les Sheather, representing the Hawkesbury mayor, and Camden Rotarian PDG Stephen Humphries, painted a picture of their local flood experiences.

Comedians Daniel Townes (pictured), who was MC, David Smiedt, Bruce Griffiths and Peter Berner then gave the audience’s happy endorphins a solid workout.

David worked his magic with the live auction of four fabulous prizes, extracting $3,500 from the audience. Raffle ticket sales and a silent auction delivered over $5,000 to the cause.

When thanking the audience for attending and supporting this great cause, Paula Jesse, of the Rotary Club of Blacktown City, said the night had raised an incredible $16,975.40.

District 9685 Governor Mina Howard thanked the club for its fundraising efforts and for organising the successful event. With the inclusion of successful Rotary International Disaster Grant applications by Districts 9685 and 9675, the Flood Relief for Greater Sydney Initiative has raised an astonishing $89,727.40.

The proceeds of the comedy event will be split equally between Rotary Districts 9675 and 9685, to be distributed along with their Rotary International Disaster Grant funds directly to the flood victims in their areas of Camden and Windsor/Hawkesbury, via Rotary clubs in the area.