The AFL and the broader football community has managed to collectively fundraise a staggering eight million dollars for bushfire relief.
$6.4m of those funds were from donations raised in the lead up to the State of Origin for Bushfire Relief double-header, while the rest was raised by club-led initiatives and will be distributed to a range of recipients.
“As these fires were unfolding, I had many discussions among senior people in football and the universal response from across the football community was, what can we do to help,” AFL CEO, Gillon McLachlan, said.
“Our clubs, the players, broadcast, commercial and licensing partners, Marvel Stadium venue partners, and all our fans come together and have raised an amazing amount of money and I want to thank every single one of you.”
The Red Cross has received $1m, while $740,000 has been distributed for immediate relief to 262 community clubs and Auskick centres.
The donations were kicked off by the AFL, clubs and the AFL Players’ Association tipping in a combined $2.5m, while corporate sponsorship ($1.49m) and ticketing revenue ($1.1m) were also significant.
Port Adelaide and Adelaide raised over $1m from the charity T20 cricket game, while Essendon was able to raise $300,000 for Dyson Heppell’s head shave.
“On behalf of our AFL community, thank you to everyone involved in fighting the fires and supporting communities in this time of need,” McLachlan said.