Gala dinner serves up $40,000 for annual appeal

A charity dinner featuring culinary delights from some of the city’s top chefs has raised almost $41,000 for the annual Mayor’s Christmas Cheer Appeal.

Kicking-off the fundraising for this year’s appeal, the second annual 5-Star Chefs for Charity gala dinner was held at Shangri-La The Marina Cairns on Saturday evening (24 July).

Themed “A White Christmas in July”, the event was attended by 160 guests, who were treated to four-course dinner, prepared by the head chefs from Hilton Cairns, Pullman Cairns International, Shangri-La The Marina Cairns and the Pullman Reef Hotel Casino.

The event raised over $24,000 in ticket sales and almost $16,800 on the night through auctions, raffles and donations for a total of $40,900.

The top auctioned item of the night was a three-course dinner with matched wines for four, served at the Shangri-La The Marina Cairns kitchen by executive chef Aaron Hapgood, which attracted a winning bid of $5,000.

Mayor Bob Manning said it was “a brilliant” evening and thanked the hoteliers, those who donated to the event, and of course those who attended, for their generosity.

“The response on the night was just brilliant,” Cr Manning said.

“Last year’s dinner raised about $26,000, to have raised more than $40,000 at this year’s function is an amazing effort and I thank everyone who attended and supported this event for their generosity.

“I also want to the acknowledge each of the hotels for donating their services for the event, and also a special mention to Simon George and Sons for all of the amazing fresh produce they donated.

“This event has set a substantial platform and will ensure families in need will receive food hampers at Christmas.

It was announced on the night that Pullman Reef Casino will host next year’s event.

Red Hot Summer Tour guitar auction

The appeal is set for another major boost next month when Triple M Cairns will auction a Squire Telecaster guitar from the Red Hot Summer Tour.

The guitar features signatures from some of Australia’s top musicians, including Killing Heidi, Diesel, Hoodoo Gurus, Jon Stevens, Chris Cheney from The Living End, and the legendary Jimmy Barnes.

Cairns radio announcer Elliott Lovejoy will host the live auction on 20 August from the Triple M Cairns studio. Tune in to Triple M for more details closer to the date.

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