Record Donations At Launch Of Mayor's Christmas Charity

The Mayor's Christmas Charity has kicked off with a record $52,450 committed at today's launch.

The annual appeal provides hampers for local families and senior citizens who need a helping hand during the Christmas festive period.

At this morning's launch Bendigo Bank and Kenfrost Homes committed $20,000 each to the appeal.

Other donations included Heightened Security ($5,400), Babinda Electrics ($4000), Seaswift ($1000), and Miller Harris Lawyers ($1000).

It was highest ever amount donated at the launch of the annual appeal.

Cairns Mayor Amy Eden said the demand for hampers had increased in recent years.

"Cost-of-living pressures are obviously having an impact on our residents and last year we saw a dramatic increase of 200 requests for hampers – from 750 to 950," Cr Eden said.

"There's a strong possibility this number may increase again this year.

"To provide 950 hampers we needed $105,000. This year, we are aiming for an ambitious fundraising goal of $110,000 that will allow us to distribute 1,000 hampers to those in this Christmas."

Residents and businesses are being urged to donate via Council's website.

A baubles barometer will be installed at Council's administration building in Spence St to keep track of the fundraising total.

"Hopefully its overflowing by December," Cr Eden said.

"We understand this is a challenging target, so we are continuing with our signature event this year to bolster our fundraising efforts, although we are planning something a little different."

In 2020, Council initiated the 5-Star Chefs for Charity events in partnership with four major hotels.

Over four years, these events have raised over $150,000, proving to be a crucial element in our fundraising strategy.

"This year, we're offering a fresh twist on the event," Cr Eden said.

"Thanks to the generosity of Rankine Timber and Truss as our venue partner, a dinner event will be held at the old sawmill, now called The Mill, on Magazine Street in Stratford.

"The Mayor's charity dinner, the Sawmill Soiree, will be part of the 2024 Cairns Festival program and will take place on Saturday 31 August.

It will feature a long-table fine dining experience set in the architectural ambience of the old sawmill.

Bendigo Bank has also returned for the second year as the Major Event Partner for the Sawmill Soiree charity dinner.

Tickets to the Sawmill Soiree are on sale.


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