Kayuga NSW Rural Fire Service big winner from pool competition fundraiser at Muswellbrook's Railway Hotel

GREAT SUCCESS: Aaron Batchelor, Kayuga NSW RFS Deputy Captain Jayden Hollis, Alix Smith, Greg Smith and Gary Morley.
GREAT SUCCESS: Aaron Batchelor, Kayuga NSW RFS Deputy Captain Jayden Hollis, Alix Smith, Greg Smith and Gary Morley.

TONY Riley may have walked away with the title at the pool competition at the Railway Hotel at the weekend.

But, the Kayuga NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) brigade was the big winner from Saturday's event in Muswellbrook.

The January 18 fundraiser, organised by Aaron Batchelor and Gary Morley, amassed $3042.50 for the local group.

Kayuga's resources - like many other NSW RFS organisations - have been stretched to the limit after fighting a series of blazes in the region.

"It was a good day; everything worked out well," Mr Batchelor said.

"We ended up with 34 players, from Muswellbrook, Aberdeen and Scone.

"However, it was all about helping NSW RFS personnel.

"Gary and I were hoping to raise $2000, so the total certainly surpassed our expectations.

"That's mainly due to a great community effort."

Mr Morley was quick to express his gratitude to all involved, too.

"We'd like to thank everyone who not only turned up on the day, but sponsored the event, including Greg and Alix Smith from the Railway Hotel," he said.

"We're grateful for the backing.

"However, I think I speak for every person when I say we take our hats off to the volunteers."

Kayuga NSW RFS Deputy Captain Jayden Hollis was overwhelmed by the gesture of the sporting fraternity.

"I'm blown away," he said.

"This money is going towards new chainsaws, GPS devices and a thermal imaging camera.

"Those items will make our job a lot easier.

"To be honest, we're a bit stunned by all the assistance [out there].

"People are so generous.

"We've received a lot of individual contributions, as well as an anonymous donation for $600, a further $500 from Harvey Recruitment and, just recently, $716 from the Aberdeen Sports and Recreation Club.

"On top of that, we have had 11 applications from newcomers since this fire season started.

"It's terrific to get this kind of support."

Deputy Captain Hollis said Kayuga's major goal was to build its own station.

"We're the last brigade in the Hunter Valley without one," he explained.

"We have spoken to Hunter MP Joel Fitzgibbon, Upper Hunter MP Michael Johnsen and Muswellbrook Shire mayor Martin Rush - and it appears they're on board, so we're hoping to get the concept off the ground once we obtain the land.

"We are a young, active group, which is very busy.

"We're out nearly every weekend.

"It makes sense to have a 'home' of our own."