John Mundy doesn’t have any particular ties to Australia, but he’s been moved by images of wildfires ravaging the country.
Recent rain has brought some relief, but to date, the fires have been responsible for the deaths of at least 25 people and the destruction of 2,000 homes. More than 200 fires have been burning across the country. Officials have said they do not expect the recent rain will put out the largest fires before conditions again worsen. The damage has not gone unnoticed.
“It was just devastating looking at what was going on,” Mundy says.
He put it out on social media on Sunday that he wanted to do something. Overnight, the idea got a hundred likes. He talked to the owner of the Avalanche, and just like that, the Funder for Down Under was born.
“I was swamped by volunteers like crazy,” he says. “I’m just shocked by the response. It’s been kind of overwhelming.”
On Sunday, Jan. 19, Mundy’s band, the Mulligans, will be onstage along with five other acts to raise funds for the efforts to fight the wildfires. The other performers will be the Real Deal, Shotgun Kelly, the Committee, Run for Cover and Blues Report. He says it’s “great local talent” offering a variety of music. The performers will start at 3 p.m. and play until 7 p.m. There will also be 50/50 draws and a silent auction, and Mundy says he has also gotten a strong response from people wanting to donate items. Entry is free, and they will be taking donations at the door.
Mundy has taken part in or organized fundraisers in the past to help with causes like the earthquake in Haiti, tsunami relief or people who were ill. All proceeds are going to support efforts to stop the wildfires. He plans to donate money to firefighters heading from Canada to Australia and is still working out the details. The event, after all, has come together in a matter of days.
“It’s all happening so fast,” he says. “I just think it’s going to be a real fun event.”
Mundy will be posting more information about the event and fundraising efforts on his Facebook page in the days ahead.