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Nazareth hockey player organizes Australia fire relief effort

Rich Donnelly
Updated: February 12, 2020 07:35 PM
Created: February 12, 2020 05:00 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Hockey is a global sport and right here in Rochester, there's a local college hockey player doing his part to make a difference a world away.

 At first look, Nazareth's Casey Kubara looks like any other college hockey player... then you talk to him.

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"I first came over in 2014 after I graduated high school," Nazareth junior Casey Kubara said.  

Kubara is from Sydney, Australia, and while he's been in the United States for quite some time, his family is still in Australia... and that's where his thoughts remain. His dad is the captain of a fire brigade in New South Wales and has been battling the bush fires.

"These fires are spreading miles in minutes, there's no way to control it, it's about damage control,” Kubara said. “He's in the front of it, he'll put a small dent in a fire that's burning 10,000 acres."

In order to help his dad and his homeland, Kubara has organized a relief effort to try and raise money and awareness for the devastation in the fires.

"It's a big part of who I am and where I'm from,” Kubara said. “And my team and my school have been very supportive of that, they want to try and help me."

There will be a fundraiser during Nazareth's home game this Saturday at the Bill Gray's Iceplex.  

Donations will be accepted. There will also be 50/50 raffles and jersey auctions. All of the money raised will go to WIRES, which is an Australian organization working in the fire zone to benefit animals whose habitats are being destroyed by the fires.  

This is a personal struggle for Kubara as well.

"Some of my aunts and uncles have been evacuated and don't even know if they have a house, it could be burnt down and rubble," Kubara said.

Kubara and the Nazareth Golden Flyers host Chatham at 4 p.m. on Saturday. For more information about the fundraiser, click here.

Recent estimates indicate that the fires have destroyed more than 40,000 square miles.


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