Major disasters cause catastrophic damage to property, wildlife, and human life. Australia is going through one of these major disasters as the country continues to battle massive bushfires that have ravaged some parts of the country since September 2019.
People from different sectors of the society have also come forward to offer their help. From famous celebrities, sports personalities, singers, entertainers, to even sex workers and the common man, people simply want to help in any way they can.
Comedian Celeste Barber launched a fundraiser on Facebook for the fire services in New South Wales last Friday and received an incredible response, with an astonishing A$20 million raised in 48 hours. English singer-songwriter Elton John also donated $1 million for bushfire relief efforts.
The poker community has now decided to do its part to raise funds.
Crown Melbourne Donates $5 Million
Crown Resorts who is the host of the ongoing 2020 Aussie Millions tournament, have offered a total of $5 million in financial support, which will be shared by fire services in the affected areas, volunteers, and charitable organizations which are currently helping with relief efforts. The casino resort has also opened up 200 hotel rooms to victims and evacuees from the town of Mallacoota which has been massively damaged by the fires.
From Crown’s $5 million donation, the NSW Rural Fire Service, Victorian Country Fire Authority, Victorian Government Fund, and the Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service (WIRES), Zoos Victoria will each receive $1 million, while the Western Australia Bush Fire Brigade and the Australian Red Cross will also get $500,000 each.
Poker Players for Australian Wildlife Fundraiser
Lynn Gilmartin, best known as the presenter of the popular World Poker Tour on Fox Sports Networks, recently started a fundraiser for the Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors, an organization she has supported for many years. Founded by Steve and Terri Irwin, the Wildlife Warriors work to protect and save Australia’s precious wildlife which has now been devastated by the bushfires. They are currently treating tons of animal victims and they need help.
Gilmartin was able to raise A$50,000 from the poker community through the fundraiser, and she’s now getting closer to the new A$100,000 target, after the initial goal of A$10,000 was reached one hour after the fundraiser was launched.
Back in 2017, Gilmartin also set up a fundraiser for earthquake victims in Mexico City, and the donations from poker players and fans helped big time in helping them rebuild their communities. The 35-year-old said the poker community has always been helpful in times of crisis, that’s why she did not hesitate to launch a similar initiative for the Australian bushfires.
Gilmartin said the platform she is currently in has played a vital role in encouraging people to lend a hand, in any way they can. Gilmartin believes that when someone begins to show an act of generosity, he or she can influence others to do the same thing.
Other Poker Pros Offer Support
While Gilmartin is busy gathering help for Australia’s animals, several other players have also come forward to help. Australian poker pro Kahle Burns for example is offering a 2-hour group coaching lesson to fellow players who could contribute at least $500 to the fundraiser. Romania’s Alexandru Papazian will also contribute a share of his Sunday session regardless if he wins or loses, while Kitty Kuo will also be donating 5% of her Aussie Millions Main Event winnings.
Dusk Till Dawn owner and partypoker partner Rob Yong also pledged $10k. Gilmartin said she initially assumed that the donations would slow down after the first five days, but she was wrong as a lot more donations are coming in.
A number of poker players currently taking part in the 2020 Aussie Millions have also pledged their support, with British poker pro Benny Glaser praising the fundraiser as a very good cause. England’s Patrick Leonard promised to share a portion of his online winnings, while Turkish poker pro Orpen Kisacikoglu will also donate up to A$50k of his Aussie Millions winnings.
At least 26 people and one billion animals have already been killed by the huge bushfires in Australia. If you want to play a part in helping Australia recover from this massive disaster, check out the Poker Players for Australian Wildlife Facebook fundraiser and donate.

TightPoker Staff

TightPoker Staff

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