Dinner serves up $26,000 for Christmas Appeal

A gala charity dinner featuring a four-course dinner prepared by some of the city’s culinary connoisseurs has raised more than $26,000 for the annual Mayor’s Christmas Cheer Appeal.

Chefs plating up the main course, a smoked barbecue pork belly, at Saturday night's 5-Star Chefs for Charity event. Held at the Hilton Cairns on Saturday night, the inaugural 5-Star Chefs for Charity event featured dishes prepared by the head chefs from Hilton Cairns, Pullman Cairns International, Shangri-La and the Pullman Reef Hotel Casino.

The sold-out event was limited to 120 tickets due to COVID restrictions, and raised $16,500 in ticket sales, along with a further $9,500 on the night through auctions, raffles and donations.

A tennis racquet signed by world number one Ash Barty was auctioned for $1200.

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.

“There was a great spirit, a lot of laughing and a very generous group of people attended.

“Thank you to 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 dinner is set to become a signature event of the Appeal, something I am sure people will be putting in their calendar well ahead of time as part of the festive season.”

It was announced on the night that Shangri-La will host next year’s event.

Following the charity dinner, the Mayor’s Christmas Cheer Appeal sits at $64,000.

“When you consider that people and business are doing it tough, that’s a great effort, but there is still more work to be done,” Cr Manning said.

“It’s all about locals helping locals and we are asking the community to dig deep, give generously and show those experiencing hardship that we care.

“Every cent donated to the charity goes to buying food supplies for the hampers.”

People can donate $65 to buy a family a hamper, donate $35 to buy a senior a hamper, or select a donation amount by visiting cairns.qld.gov.au/christmas.

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