MELBOURNE will donate $50,000 as part of the AFL’s combined response to the Australian bushfire crisis.
The Demons will join the AFL, all clubs and its AFL and AFLW players through the AFL Players’ Association in contributing $2.5 million to support communities impacted by the nation’s bushfires.
As announced on Thursday, the joint donation includes $900,000 from clubs, $250,000 from the AFL Players’ Association and $1.35 million from the AFL.
To assist in providing relief and assistance on the ground, a donation of $1 million will go immediately to the Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery fund, while the remaining amount will be donated to a Community Relief Fund.
This fund, set up by the AFL, will support the local communities in fire-affected areas to repair and rebuild their local football clubs.
“Our hearts go out to all those affected by the current bushfire crisis," Melbourne CEO Gary Pert told Melbourne Media.
"We cannot thank the incredible firefighters, volunteers and emergency services enough for their ongoing sacrifice.
"We hope that working with the AFL, AFL Clubs and the AFL PA to make a combined donation of $2.5million will assist with providing support and relief to those impacted.”
In addition, the league will also bring back the State of Origin concept after a 20-year hiatus.
The match will see Victoria and the All Stars (all other states) go head-to-head at Marvel Stadium on Friday 28 February, raising further funds for the Community Relief Fund.
Richmond’s Damien Hardwick will coach the Victorian team, while Sydney’s John Longmire will lead the All Stars. Details surrounding participating players are yet to be confirmed.
AFLW matches will also host donation collection points throughout the 2020 season, with further opportunities being explored.
Melbourne’s AFLW match against Collingwood, which was initially scheduled for 7.10pm at Victoria Park on 28 February, will now be moved to Marvel Stadium, with more information to be provided shortly.
The AFL’s initiative follows widespread support for those affected by the bushfires.
Melbourne’s players have set up a GoFundMe page to generate further funds, with all donations going to the Red Cross. To donate, please click here.