Pub boss pays it forward for CCSS

09/12/2010

Eastern Creek Tavern CCSS Donation News Story
Eastern Creek Tavern owner John Furia (left) and wife Maria (right) with CatholicCare Executive Director Otto Henfling and Senior Manager Ann O'Brien (fourth and fifth from left) with otherrepresentatives from the organisations to benefiting from the Furias' generosity. Picture: Michael Szabath
Eastern Creek Tavern director John Furia has never hesitated to open his cheque book for the Cancer Council, Starlight Foundation or the Children's Hospital at Westmead.

But a first-hand insight into the outstanding work done on the local front was a wake-up call to do more for the community that supports him.

Four organisations of Mount Druitt and Blacktown will share in Mr Furia's generous $75,000 donation.

CatholicCare Social Services - Diocese of Parramatta, Dharruk Aboriginal Medical Service and Bridges Incorporated each received $23,000, while $6000 was given to Marrin Weejali Aboriginal Corporation in Emerton.

Mr Furia visited the organisations before the final decision and plans to increase his investment in local programs in the future.

"I wanted to do something good for the community that has been good to us," he said.

"I've seen the job these guys do and it's heart-wrenching. They do a thankless job, which I've witnessed first-hand.

"My donation won't save the world but it will help these groups do their job better."

CatholicCare will use its share to roll out its Not Enough Month at the End of the Money financial literacy program for young people in local high schools and TAFE.

It teaches participants about budgeting and warns about perils of credit cards and mobile-phone debts which can lead to financial difficulty.

Figures from Centrelink Blacktown show the highest group of its benefit recipients in debt were under 18s, said CatholicCare's Ann O'Brien.

"Our plan is to hold 40 workshops and have a ripple affect on participants' families," she said.

Bridges Incorporated manager Tirrania Suhood said the Blacktown service would have struggled to survive and run drug-and-alcohol counselling programs if it wasn't for Mr Furia.

His call to Dharruk Aboriginal Medical Service was a pleasant surprise for chairman Brad Delaney.

"It'll go a long way in providing primary health-care to Aborigines."

This article was originally published in the 'St Marys Star' on 30 November 2010.

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