Annual auction sells ’best tasting cherries’ of the season to raise money for Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation
The annual Sydney Markets cherry auction has raised tens of thousands of dollars for regional children fighting cancer with Wandin Valley Farms cherries sold to Narinder Singh Badhan from QE Food Stores.
The Sydney Markets Foundation held the auction on Saturday 11 November at the Sydney Markets Foundation Charity Gala Dinner.
Traditionally signifying the beginning of the stonefruit season, the auction was established in 1980 by wholesaler Stan Hunt, and has since raised over A$1m for a number of worthy Australian charities. This year the auction raised vital funds for Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation in support of the Kids Cancer Centre Regional Oncology Outreach Program, which helps to improve rural and remote health.
The cherries for the auction were chosen prior to the Gala with Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation chief executive Kristina Keneally joining Sydney Markets representatives to judge a ‘‘great taste off’.
Three top cherry growers were chosen for the competition with Wandin Valley Farms adjudged to have the ‘best box of the season’.
The title of ‘Cherry King’ for 2023 went to Narinder Singh Badhan from QE Food Stores who came in with a winning bid of A$50,000. This was topped up with an additional A$20,000 from Sydney Markets Credit Services to raise a grand total of A$70,000 for the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation.
Keneally said the Sydney Markets Foundation’s generous donation will help ensure that children across New South Wales can access world-class cancer care in a safe and welcoming environment, regardless of their location.
“Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation believes all children should have access to the healthcare they need, whenever and wherever they need it,” Keneally said.
“Hospitals can be a daunting place for children, with strange sounds and unfamiliar sights. These Outreach Centres mean children diagnosed with cancer can receive specialty care at a local facility, reducing travel times and unnecessary distress.
”Together, we can advocate for new and innovative services that change the way kids are cared for outside of the hospital environment and ensure they can access the best healthcare from them.”
Meegan George, chief executive of the Sydney Markets Foundation said the cherry auction was always a highlight on the Sydney Markets calendar and has been for over four decades.
“Last year we had an incredible fundraising result for our charity partner. This year we are hoping to exceed last year’s highest bid for Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation and the Kids Cancer Centre Regional Oncology Outreach Program,” said Meegan.
“We are excited to bring together the fresh produce industry and corporate donors, to raise as much money as possible. The charity gala night is the perfect way to welcome the start of the stone fruit season, whilst raising funds for a very worthy cause.”