City throws support behind firefighters

FULL COVERAGE: National Red Balloon Day from start to finish

DISTRICT Two firefighters will be given a well-deserved break from the front line, after all members were offered free tickets to the 2014 Yalumba Golden Mile Race Day. 

The Bendigo Jockey Club will donate two tickets to each member, as a sign of appreciation for their recent work. 

Chief executive officer Ian Hart said it was a small gesture to thank firefighters for everything they had been through in recent weeks. 

"We are understanding of the work they do and admire them for it - they are working in strike teams all night, putting their lives at risk," he said. 

"We wanted to give them a day off by offering them as many tickets as they need to make this possible."

Mr Hart said it would tie in with their annual fundraising efforts, with the club this year supporting the Doxa Youth Foundation on the day. 

"Because it's such a big day for Bendigo and the eyes of Australia are on us, we are calling on the whole community to support us," he said. 

The offer comes as more and more residents throw their support behind National Red Balloon Day on February 28, organised to honour and thank firefighters. 

Woolworths Caltex service station at Bendigo Marketplace yesterday joined many businesses across the city to support the day. Staff were unable to comment.

More than 10,000 ‘Thank You Fireys’ Red Balloons have now been sold as part of the day. 

NRBD coordinator Jody Hardiman said she was "overwhelmed" by the success of the event.

“We have received support from everyone from Joe Blow to the Premier," she said. 

“It is hard to judge but we are hoping the final figures will be over $10,000. It has been amazing."

The Bendigo Advertiser will hand out free red balloons with every edition sold this Thursday. 

The Addy wants to know how you're getting involved. Send your pictures to cos@bendigoadvertiser.com.au if you're putting up balloons for the day. 

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