Help for family after fire

Community spirit is behind a fundraising initiative to help the Leslie family of Mt Ross Station, after their house was destroyed by fire recently.

An auction and raffle evening was held at the Middlemarch Hall on Sunday to raise money for Sean and Melinda Leslie and their children.

It was part of a wider community effort to help them, following the fire on Monday, November 25.

Firefighters were called to the blaze about 8.20pm. Despite early efforts by the Leslies, as well as work by firefighters, the home and its contents could not be salvaged.

Community support for the family was immediate.

Friend and community member Jen Atkinson said by the next morning clothing, nappies and other essential items had been gathered and donated to the family.

''There has been a huge amount of support from the community,'' she said.

Together with other community members, Mrs Atkinson helped organise the gathering on Sunday.

It was a chance for some additional money to be raised for the Leslies, and to bring residents together for a relaxed barbecue dinner.

''It was a good old-fashioned community rally-around to show our support and see if we could raise a few more funds,'' Mrs Atkinson said.

Many businesses and individuals in the wider Strath Taieri and Dunedin areas had generously given raffle and auction items, as well as vouchers and products which could be directly used by the Leslies, she said.

''The show of support from businesses has been fantastic. There were some great raffle prizes, bigger items for the auction and things like food vouchers which we gave direct to the Leslie family.''

Mr Leslie said the family were extremely grateful to all who had offered support.

''I just want to say a massive thanks to the community. We've been overloaded with stuff and the generosity has been amazing. I especially want to thank the Mosgiel and Outram fire brigades for doing what they could and for their rapid response,'' he said.


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