In the midst of Australia’s devastating bush fire crisis, Parkes Shire Council have launched a bush fire fundraising appeal to take place during the 2020 Parkes Elvis Festival from today until Monday 13 January.

All funds raised will go directly to Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery to help support our phenomenal emergency service workers and aid bush fire disaster-affected communities across Australia.

Donations to Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery fund help cover the costs of coordinating a volunteer led disaster relief effort, including training of volunteers, equipment, transport, as well as the provision of shelter and psychological first-aid to affected communities.

Mayor of Parkes Shire, Cr Ken Keith OAM said our hearts go out to those affected by the devastating bushfires.

"The impact of the fires on top of this relentless drought is profoundly felt across our country, and while the small, rural community of Parkes is not currently affected by bushfires we are connected to the rest of the nation through the 27,000 visitors that come to the Parkes Elvis Festival each year.

"Many of our visitors, friends, and relatives have been touched by the ongoing bushfire crisis, and we would like to support the Red Cross relief and recovery efforts during these challenging times."

Parkes Elvis Festival Director Cathy Treasure said, "We understand this will mean disappointment for some of those that can't get here, and we respectfully invite you to watch our happy festival via our social channels and hope it brings you a little something to smile at during these horrible times."

"We know that regional communities like the south coast of NSW appreciate the value of the tourism and events to underpinning regional economies especially in these tough times battling fires and drought, and that's exactly what the Parkes Elvis Festival was created to do in bringing tourism dollars in low economic times."

"Elvis had a huge heart and we know that our Festival goers share that same goodwill, so be a loving teddy bear and jump on our fundraising page to donate now"

In the days that have followed the ABC New Year’s Eve donation drive, the Red Cross have been able to deploy 1,285 trained staff and volunteers to disaster-affected communities.

That’s what Red Cross does best. While other organisations do an incredible job fighting the fires, repairing physical damage, or distributing food, water and other essential supplies, Red Cross play their part in the big picture by providing additional care and psychological support to those most affected in a crisis.

"We want to wrap our loving arms around you all!" Cathy concluded.

For festival updates, follow our social media pages and our website.