Let's face it - times have been tough in the Shoalhaven of late. However we have still seen community spirit and good humour shine through. Fact is, some of us could do with a laugh.
Comedian Mary Coustas is happy to deliver. Known best for her character Effie - who's "big boofy hair, thick woggy accent and irrepressible attitude won her a place in the Australian public's hearts" Mary will perform at The Country Club St Georges Basin next month.
The one hour show, entitled Love Me Tinder, will take place on Saturday, February 15 from 8.30-9.30pm, with doors opening at 7.30pm.
When Mary heard about the fires in the area, she wanted to do something to help, and has donated 200 tickets to the show to be given to Rural Fire Service brigades from St Georges Basin and surrounding areas.
The club is reaching out to the brigades with details on how they can book. The Spencer Band will play live in the auditorium following the show for the volunteers.
We spoke with Mary ahead of the show about how Effie has changed and what audiences can expect.
"Effie, over the last three decades and since winning a Logie, is completely up herself. After a lifetime of being picky, single, and eventually desperate Effie finally got married," Mary said.
"Effie re-met the love of her life and her first ever primary school kiss Shane Bradley Cooper at their 25-year school reunion.
"They married and being a good Greek girl Effie waited until her honeymoon to lose her virginity. But since popping the cherry Effie's curiosity of what else is out there and wondering about if the grass is greener is peaking.
"Essentially Love Me Tinder is about love - finding it and keeping it. And what happens on the other side of the fantasy. It's about fidelity and commitment. It's about the animal in all of us and trying to contain it."
The audience can expect some 'guest appearances', with Effie's recently widowed and forever frisky Uncle Vasili dropping in.
Vasili is an instant hit with the audience. We've all met someone like him. And having spent a lot of time in the Jervis Bay, St George area I'm sure the audience will recognise many of his Greek characteristics," Mary said.
Mary said the show was inspired by her interest in human relationships.
"And how difficult finding the person we choose to spend our lives with can be. And how difficult staying together can be," she said.
"Fifty per cent of couples divorce and I want to explore the territory through the most honest filter I can and that is Effie."
She said the show had been well received everywhere it played.
"Love Me Tinder has been a hit everywhere it plays, and I think it's proof of how much we all need to laugh and stay connected to the quintessential Australian characters we love so much," Mary said.
She's also met many people who have had success with online dating services.
"There are people in the audience at almost every show who renew my faith in Tinder," she said.
"Happy couples who met on Tinder and who have gone on to have children. I don't think it's the obvious thing you get out of it but sometimes it surprises you and you find your lifelong match."
Tickets to Love Me Tinder are $40 and can be booked online (plus booking fee) or by phoning the club on 4443 0666.
"A bit like a solar eclipse it's not common to see a star like this in the galaxy of St Georges Basin very often," Mary said. "Don't miss out people. Trust me 'you'll be spewing if youse do!'"