Essendon and Geelong have partnered with one of the largest rural charities in Australia, Rural Aid, ahead of the fourth installation of the Powercor Country Festival blockbuster at the MCG this Sunday.

Founded by Charles and Tracy Alder in 2015, Rural Aid provides support to farmers and rural communities in times of natural disaster such as drought, flood and fire, as well as supporting the sustainability of the agricultural sector.

Donations from the game and the fundraising effort will go directly to the drought-stricken farming region of Gippsland in country Victoria.

Working with Rural Aid, plans have also been announced to host a Hay Mate Concert in Yarra Park in 2020, for the fifth anniversary of the Country Festival blockbuster.

Rural Aid Chief Executive Officer Charles Alder said: “We are delighted to be partnering with both the Essendon and Geelong Football clubs and congratulate both clubs on raising the profile of rural and regional communities.”

Essendon Chief Executive Officer Xavier Campbell said the Club was proud to be partnering with Rural Aid in line with the blockbuster Country Festival clash this week.

“This is an important partnership with one of the largest rural charities in Australia, and we’re proud of this natural alignment with Rural Aid throughout an important week for us in recognising the contribution of regional communities to our great state,” Campbell said.

“The fundraising is for the Victorian drought, particularly concentrating our efforts for farmers in Gippsland so we look forward to a big turnout at the MCG on Sunday for the Country Festival in support of Rural Aid.”

Geelong Chief Executive Officer Brian Cook said the Club was looking forward to a strong partnership with Rural Aid.

“We are proud to partner with Rural Aid, who work to achieve positive outcomes and assist communities in need,” Cook said.

“Community is important to our club, everything we do has a central purpose around building a better community and giving back to the community that supports us.

“We thank Rural Aid for their support and look forward to a successful partnership into the future.”

For more information on Rural Aid, please click here.