F1 driver Ricciardo to auction race suit for Aussie bushfire relief

Daniel Ricciardo at Formula 1 2019 / Schloss Gabelhofen. Photo by XaviYuahanda, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license

MELBOURNE (ACNI) – Australian racecar driver Daniel Ricciardo, who is currently competing in Formula One for the Renault Team, has announced via Instagram that he will be auctioning a race suit to benefit Australian bushfire relief efforts.

The devastating fires that continue to rage across New South Wales and Victoria have burned countless homes to the ground, decimated land and wildlife habitats, and claimed the lives of 25 people and an estimated 500 million animals. The fires are so hot they are reportedly triggering thunder and lightning.

Multiple government and private relief organizations have been pleading for donations to help Australia fight the greatest natural disaster in its history.

A resident of Monte Carlo who was born and raised in Perth, Australia, Ricciardo said he plans to autograph and auction a Renault race suit that will be used in this year’s Australian Grand Prix. He joins a growing list of celebrities who have pledged substantial sums of money. Aussie actress Nicole Kidman and her New Zealand-born husband musician Keith Urban have jointly donated $500,000, as has American singer/songwriter Pink. The women’s world No 1 tennis player, Ashleigh Barty, pledged on Sunday to donate all of her Brisbane International prize money to the bushfire appeal. She is the top seed in the Brisbane event, which starts today, with the winner taking home US$250,000 (A$360,000). Naomi Watts, Rebel Wilson, Leonardo DiCaprio, Margot Robbie, and Hilary Clinton have all taken to social media to encourage donations from the public and to raise consciousness about global warming.

The power of social media bolstered Australian comedian Celeste Barber’s fundraising efforts, which have raised more than US$19.4 million (A$28m) to help the New South Wales Rural Fire Service fight bushfires around the state.

Among the many organizations accepting donations are:

Australian Red Cross

Salvation Army Disaster Appeal

Emergency funds for wildlife affected by the fires are being accepted through: NSW Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service, known as WIRES; and Port Macquarie Koala Hospital’s GoFundMe page.

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